The LA Clippers were able to pick up a win against the Detroit Pistons, 136-125, with Kawhi Leonard leading the charge with 33 points. Even with the 11-point victory, the two-time NBA champion felt that the team could have done better on the defensive end.
The win over the Pistons is their second win in a row as the Clippers improved to 32-15 to still be the third-best team in the NBA Western Conference standings.
Disecting the game, the Clippers struggled in the first half letting the Pistons take an early first quarter lead. This did not sit well with Kawhi Leonard as the team came in with enough star power to dominate the team with the worst win-loss record:
“It’s between our ears. Tonight, we were terrible on our defensive game. I feel like we’ve been running our games off of talent, even our offensive game,” Leonard said.
“It’s a lot of slow pace, and it starts with our defense. We have to see who we want to be and start setting goals for ourselves. I feel like these last few games have been based on talent, and we need to be focused on execution.”
Kawhi Leonard leads LA Clippers after trailing as much as 14 points against Detroit Pistons
It was a slow start for the LA Clippers as they found themselves trailing the Pistons 20-6, with 5:52 left in the first quarter. Needing to take over to avoid an upset loss, Kawhi Leonard took charge of the game, scoring 10 points to end the quarter, but the Clippers still trailed by six points.
The Clippers followed through Leonard’s efforts and outscored the Pistons, 38-26, in the second quarter and took a six-point lead by half-time. For the rest of the game, the Clippers coasted along protecting the lead en route to a victory.
Kawhi Leonard ended the night with 33 points, six 3-pointers, four rebounds and three assists. Notable support came from Russell Westbrook, who added 23 points, reaching a milestone of 25,000 career points. Paul George also stepped up with 18 points, seven assists and three steals.
On the other side, Jaden Ivey was the Pistons top-scorer with 28 points while Bojan Bogdanovic was not that far with 26 during the loss. Cade Cunningham also had a notable night with a double-double of 16 points and 11 assists.
The LA Clippers will have an opportunity to rectify their defensive shortcomings as they confront two additional Eastern Conference teams to conclude their road trip. Next on the schedule is the Miami Heat on Feb. 5, followed by a matchup with the Atlanta Hawks two days later.