April 21, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Kawhi Leonard leads Clippers to 129-115 win over Knicks

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue remembers the early mornings of walking into the Boston Celtics’ facility a decade ago and seeing New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau already inside.

Lue and Thibodeau, both former Celtics assistant coaches, worked closely together studying tape, and Lue saw Thibodeau’s renowned defensive mind-set on a personal level. Lue thanked him for his mentorship during his first opportunity in the NBA’s coaching ranks.

But on Sunday, Thibodeau’s Knicks (9-12), which boast the NBA’s third-best defensive rating, failed to contain one of the NBA’s best-offensive teams, losing to the Clippers 129 -115.

Highlights from the Clippers’ win over the New York Knicks on Sunday.

Winning 66-65 at halftime, the Clippers (16-5) opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run. New York showed life to keep the game competitive at times, but couldn’t re-create their first-half production.

In his second game back from health-and-safety protocols, Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points on 8-of-15 shooting. He did it all, posting up defenders, slamming a one-handed dunk in the paint, hitting mid-range jump shots and a three pointer. Paul George, who also missed time with Leonard for coronavirus reasons, finished with 17 points on 7-of-16 shooting.

The Knicks cut into their fourth-quarter deficit when rookie Immanuel Quickley missed a jump shot, but slithered through a block of Clippers defenders to grab his rebound and put up a floater. He then hit a three pointer on the next possession, bringing the score to 105-103. But Clippers center Ivica Zubac threw down a dunk, and a Knicks turnover sparked a Clippers’ 9-0 run with just under six minutes remaining.

Knicks forward Julius Randle scored 27 points, guard R.J. Barrett added 23 and Quickley scored 25 off the bench. Clippers power forward/center Serge Ibaka scored 15 points, including three-of-four baskets from three-point range.