As Kevin Durant made his playoff debut with the Phoenix Suns, Footprint Center was buzzing. But, Kawhi Leonard, the best player on the court, outperformed the Suns’ new star.
In the Los Angeles Clippers’ 115-110 Game 1 victory over the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, Leonard led the team with a game-high 38 points, five rebounds, and five assists while maintaining composure the entire four quarters.
Durant scored 27 points during the loss. His first defeat while wearing a Suns uniform.
With Paul George out with a knee injury, the Clippers relied heavily on every point that Kawhi Leonard scored in the tight victory. After the game, Leonard said it was “amazing” to face Durant and the Suns in the first round.
“(Kevin Durant) is a Hall of Famer and an all-time great player. This is what it’s all about; you have a chance to perform really well. You only desire the chance, “Leonard remarked. “Giving your best on the pitch matters whether you win, lose, or tie. You can play against the finest as well. All you have to do is keep enjoying yourself. It’s great. It’s basketball playoff time.
The best player on the court was Leonard. The only Clippers starter who with a positive plus-minus from the field was him.
Tyronn Lue, the coach of the Clippers, praised Leonard as “outstanding.” He did a great job getting to his positions, in my opinion. When the defence double teams him, he takes what is given to him and makes the appropriate pass and play. On Sunday, he did a terrific job of getting to his destinations.
With guts, hustle, defence, and two crucial free throws with under 20 seconds left, Westbrook overcame a difficult 3-for-19 shooting night to give Los Angeles a 111-108 advantage. Following his two successful free throw attempts, Westbrook successfully blocked a Devin Booker basket, giving the Clippers a great chance to win.
“During my career, I have taken great delight in doing everything. After the game, Westbrook remarked, “I think I’m one of those guys that can do everything every night. “I’ll do whatever it takes to help my team win the game. I’m just appreciative that (Tyronn) Lue and his staff have faith in me despite the fact that I struggle to make shots. enabling me to contribute to the team’s success and victory.”
Despite Westbrook’s poor shooting performance, Lue encouraged him not to give up because of his overall contribution to the game.
He played excellent defence against KD “As for Westbrook, Lue noted. “He had good physical ability. He kept the ball alive at the end of the game by grabbing a few offensive rebounds. Tonight, I thought he was outstanding.
After clearing waivers, Westbrook joined the Clippers in February. He finished the game with nine points, ten rebounds, eight assists, three blocks, and two steals.
Westbrook was the supporting player Leonard and the Clippers needed to win Game 1 with George out. Leonard, however, was Phoenix’s shining light. The Clippers stand a solid chance of upsetting the Suns in the opening round if Leonard continues to outperform Durant and he receives assistance from Westbrook and others.