Clippers, Doncic marvel at Kawhi's Game 6 performance
Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard was relentless at both ends of the court in Friday's Game 6 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, and naturally, there was no shortage of praise for the two-time Finals MVP.
Leonard scored 42 of the Clippers' final 68 points in the pivotal 104-97 win in Dallas as part of his playoff career high. He went 18-of-25 from the field to become just the fourth player in NBA history to record 45 points or more while shooting 70% or better from the floor in an elimination game.
"The guy works tremendously, one of the hardest workers I've been around. We're blessed to have him," Clippers guard Reggie Jackson told reporters.
Leonard's contributions weren't limited to his offensive achievements, either.
"Great players perform in big moments," Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. "He took on the challenge with guarding Luka the whole game, and I thought the coverages were great. That shows you who Kawhi Leonard is."
Leonard has been tasked with guarding Mavs superstar Luka Doncic for portions of the first-round series, especially in Friday's victory. Leonard has held Doncic to just 22 points on 9-of-24 from the field (37.5%) and 4-of-13 from deep (30.8%) throughout the series, according to NBA.com.
"He destroyed us. He had a hell of a game," Doncic said postgame. "That's what he does."
"Luka still played a pretty good game," Leonard said. "He's a very dominant player and very skilled. He plays at his own pace. All I can do is stay in front of him as much as possible, contest his shots and try not to put him to the line."
Leonard also excelled when guarded by Doncic. He nailed a 27-foot dagger over the 22-year-old Slovenian to give the Clippers a 95-88 advantage with 2:20 remaining.
"I want to attack everybody on the floor no matter who's in front of me," Leonard said. "Whoever the matchup is. I can't have an indecisive mind out there. If I feel like I have an angle and they're giving me something, then I attack it."
The series will be decided Sunday at the Staples Center, with the road team winning the first six games of the best-of-seven series for the first time in NBA history.
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