by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
LOS ANGELES – Kawhi Leonard didn’t have the greatest night on the floor, but finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists on 2-of-11 shooting from the field. The Clippers defeated the NBA champion Toronto Raptors 99-88 on Monday night at Staples Center.
Thanks to a solid defensive effort in the second half, the Clippers were able to prevail with a strong game from Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. Williams finished with 21 points and Harrell added 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The moments leading up to the game were surrounded by Leonard meeting his former Raptors team, and they would react to each other. There was a mutual respect amongst all parties involved, the same respect that was shown between Gregg Popovich and Leonard when the Spurs played the Clippers a couple of weeks ago.
Leonard is only focused on this season with the Clippers and helping them achieve the same success he found in Toronto last season.
“Like I said before, I had a great time there, it’s the next chapter now,” Leonard said. “I can’t live in the past or just be so excited that I still won, I’m with a different team, a different unit, and they want to have that same feeling and I do as well. I’m a clipper right now.“
The best two-way playing the game today is solely focused on playing with his complete squad especially since Paul George is scheduled to return later in the week. Leonard continues to get acclimated to his new surroundings, yet when it all comes together, this Clippers team will live up to the expectations of being of the most feared defensive teams in the league.
The Clippers head out on the road for a two-game road trip, starting Wednesday at Houston against the Rockets, and Thursday night against the Pelicans.