Kawhi Leonard returns, beats Charlotte and escapes losing streak
Kawhi Leonard is back. He made a winning shot from the first game of his return, raising expectations for his future performance.
The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Charlotte Hornets 119-117 in an away game at the Spectrum Center on the 6th (Korea Standard Time). The Clippers, who escaped two consecutive losses with the victory, recorded 14 wins and 11 losses. Charlotte is 7-17.
On this day, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George returned to the game due to injuries. It was the first time for Leonard and George to play together in one game since their home game against the San Antonio Spurs on November 19, the team’s 17th game of the season.
So far, Leonard and George have been injured alternately, so the timing of their appearances has been mixed and they have not enough time to work together. The two players returned from injuries and became complete for the first time in eight games.
The return match was a success. Both players played less than 30 minutes under thorough playing time management, with George scoring 19 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, and Leonard recording 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists.
In the midst of this, Leonard’s performance in the fourth quarter shone. He tied the score with 39.7 seconds left before the end of the game, and then succeeded in a step-back jumper after switching from the post-up position to the face-up position with 1.4 seconds left before the end.
It was a moment when Leonard’s unique troubleshooter instinct shone. The Clippers, who had Leonard’s winning shot, shook off Charlotte’s pursuit and won a two-point victory after a neck-and-neck race. In addition to Leonard and George, the Clippers coordinated the game well with John Wall delivering (12 points) 12 assists, while Reggie Jackson (13 points) and Nicholas Batum (13 points) also helped win.
Charlotte’s trio, Kelly Ubre Jr. (28 points), PJ Washington (26 points), and Terry Rozier (22 points), scored 20+ points, but the lack of endurance at the last minute was regrettable.