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Sport Hernandez: Clippers' Kawhi Leonard, as usual, remains all business, even against the Raptors

11:10  12 november  2019
11:10  12 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

Hernandez: Clippers' Kawhi Leonard, as usual, remains all business, even against the Raptors

  Hernandez: Clippers' Kawhi Leonard, as usual, remains all business, even against the Raptors As he wiped the back of his neck with a towel, Kawhi Leonard confirmed what the box score made obvious. Playing against the Toronto Raptors on Monday night was an emotional experience. "Yeah, definitely," Leonard said to Fox Sports West's Jaime Maggio in an interview that was played over Staples Center's public-address system. Leonard was held by his former team to a season-low 12 points. He made only two of 11 field-goal attempts. He committed a season-high nine turnovers.But it was enough.

Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors won't exchange many pleasantries when they meet Monday for the first time since winning an NBA championship in June. The reasons have nothing to do with Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors sharing any misgivings. Leonard just remains economical with his

Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard is looking forward to his reunion with reigning NBA champions the Toronto Raptors . Asked what he will remember about his one and only season with the Raptors after being dealt by the San Antonio Spurs, Leonard added: "The guys, the journey.

As he wiped the back of his neck with a towel, Kawhi Leonard confirmed what the box score made obvious.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 11:  Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers drives on Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors during a 98-88 Clippers win at Staples Center on November 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)© 2019 Getty Images LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 11: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers drives on Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors during a 98-88 Clippers win at Staples Center on November 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Playing against the Toronto Raptors on Monday night was an emotional experience.

NBA sides with Clippers in Kawhi load-management controversy

  NBA sides with Clippers in Kawhi load-management controversy The NBA has no issue with the Los Angeles Clippers resting Kawhi Leonard during back-to-backs. Los Angeles' decision to sit Leonard for Wednesday's nationally televised game against the Milwaukee Bucks drew criticism on social media, but the league released a statement in defense of the Clippers' load management. "Kawhi Leonard is not a healthy player under the league's resting policy and, as such, is listed as managing a knee injury in the LA Clippers' injury report," league spokesperson Mike Bass said, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Kawhi Leonard sat out of a high-profile, nationally televised game to rest, once again raising the issue of when NBA players should take a night off. Teams will adopt load management, even if some players are outwardly resistant to it. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in response to Leonard sitting out vs

TORONTO — Twenty-four seasons, 1,920 regular-season games, 18 playoff series, 99 playoff games. It took until the 100th postseason game in franchise history, but the Toronto Raptors clinched their first N.B.A. finals appearance with a 100-94 victory on their home floor against the Milwaukee Bucks on

"Yeah, definitely," Leonard said to Fox Sports West's Jaime Maggio in an interview that was played over Staples Center's public-address system.

BOX SCORE: CLIPPERS 98, RAPTORS 88

Leonard was held by his former team to a season-low 12 points. He made only two of 11 field-goal attempts. He committed a season-high nine turnovers.

But it was enough.

With Leonard nearly recording a triple-double by registering 11 rebounds and nine assists, the Clippers won 98-88 over the team he led to its first NBA championship last season.

"That's what a championship team is about," Leonard said. "When your star is not going or they're double-teaming you, you have other guys knocking down big shots like they did tonight."

Leonard's mental state was the subject of widespread speculation before the game, which was nothing new.

Clippers' Kawhi Leonard reacts to Doc Rivers comparing him to Michael Jordan

  Clippers' Kawhi Leonard reacts to Doc Rivers comparing him to Michael Jordan Clippers coach Doc Rivers said aspects of Kawhi Leonard's game was 'most like Jordan we've seen' on 'SportsCenter' in May. Leonard had some thoughts.“I came a long way to where I am right now," Leonard said following the Clippers’ 104-95 win over the Utah Jazz on Sunday at Staples Center. “It is just showing my hard work is paying off.

Kawhi Leonard helps the Los Angeles Clippers ' to victory against former club and defending Kawhi Leonard endured a tough night against his former side the Toronto Raptors but still helped the Los Angeles Clippers to a 99-88 "Surgery was required for this to even have a chance to heal properly.

Last summer, the Raptors lost their Finals MVP to the Los Angeles Clippers ( Kawhi Leonard ) and The Raptors outlined an impressive blueprint against the Lakers. Although James finished with a They also signed Lowry to a one-year, million extension so that he remains under contract until

In the days leading up to the game, the notoriously guarded superstar told reporters he considered his reunion with the Raptors just another game. And that's what it looked like.

When he walked onto the court for the start of the game, he lightly tapped fists with Raptors center Marc Gasol, who patted him on his backside. Leonard had a similar exchange with guard Norman Powell.

That was it.

No embraces. No smiles.

Just a game, as Leonard said it would be.

The game was intense, but that was because the Clippers and Raptors were well matched. The home crowd was into the game, but that was because the score was close.

Asked whether he noticed any changes in Leonard's demeanor, coach Doc Rivers laughed.

"Have you ever noticed any change in his demeanor?" Rivers asked.

No, which is why Rivers was being asked whether he had.

"Neither have I," Rivers said.

But Rivers was certain Leonard was feeling something.

Kawhi Leonard on Clippers integrating Paul George: Only thing to do is just play

  Kawhi Leonard on Clippers integrating Paul George: Only thing to do is just play Eight years later, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are together. The Clippers forwards were almost teammates when George played for the Indiana Pacers and the team drafted a 19-year-old prospect from San Diego State in 2011. Instead, George watched Leonard grow from afar after the mild-mannered wing player was traded to San Antonio, transformed from a defensive specialist to all-around star and won two NBA championships. Getting to bear witness up close this year hasn't disappointed. "Everything is true about his makeup," George said of Leonard. "Works hard, great teammate, great locker room guy."He actually does talk," George added with a laugh.

Kawhi Leonard was facing off against the Toronto Raptors for the first time since helping them win a championship last season. They weren't able to convince him to stay though as Leonard had his heart set on a return home to California. Now lacing up for the LA Clippers , Leonard faced off

One of the better Kawhi Leonard anecdotes of the season, not surprisingly, involves the team that will be trying as hard as any to steal him from the Toronto Raptors after the N.B.A. finals. The Los Angeles Clippers are said to have quietly looked into the feasibility of purchasing the portion of the rights to

"I think every player, no matter if you're the best player or you're the worst player, you play your ex-team, and even if you left on the best of terms, worst of terms, it doesn't matter, you want to do well," Rivers said. "Just like the team who's playing against you, they want to do well against you. So that's normal stuff, really."

Leonard appeared calm, but his shot indicated otherwise.

It wasn't falling.

Some of that had to do with the Raptors, who often sent multiple defenders in his direction.

Leonard had only one point in the first quarter. He had only four points at halftime, all of them on free throws.

"If we make him work and we make him take a high volume of shots and make them the shot we want him to take and he makes a bunch of them, so be it," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "But we don't want to give him the easy stuff."

Leonard adjusted.

He had four assists in the second quarter to send the Clippers into the break with a 51-46 advantage.

His signature play of the game was also an assist, a one-bounce pass that went through three Raptors defenders and was received by Montrezl Harrell, whose dunk with 58 seconds remaining extended the Clippers' lead to 94-88.

Leonard leads Clippers past Raptors in 1st game vs old team

  Leonard leads Clippers past Raptors in 1st game vs old team LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lou Williams scored 21 points, Kawhi Leonard just missed a triple-double in his first game against his former team and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors 98-88 on Monday night. Leonard finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to go with nine turnovers. Last season, he led the Raptors to their first championship, averaging 30.5 points and 9.1 rebounds in 24 postseason games to earn his second Finals MVP honor.

PHILADELPHIA — It was all on display, the complete Kawhi Leonard show, and why it was worth staging in Toronto this season, even against ominous odds of there ever being another. The Raptors on Sunday were facing their most challenging test in their bid for a deep playoff run and

Los Angeles Clippers Kawhi Leonard and load-management have been the topic of discussion lately. Some even consider the three-time All-Star the After the Clippers decided to sit Kawhi Leonard due to load management, knee in their game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic head coach

"You're not going to play well every night, yet he almost had a triple-double, still," Rivers said.

Before the game, Nurse spoke of the one-on-one conversations he shared with Leonard last season as if they were cherished memories.

"I got some insight about who he was as a player and a person," Nurse said.

When Nurse revealed details, what became evident was that the talks were unforgettable not because Leonard said anything extraordinary, but because he let him into his private world.

Leonard told Nurse he wanted to play. He wanted to stay healthy. He wanted to play for a long time. And he wanted to win.

That was more or less it.

Nurse recalled there were times he told Leonard he could have scored, say, 40 points in a particular game.

"He was like, 'I don't care about that,' " Nurse said. "He goes, 'Coach, we got to get the win. We got to get better. It's a good team, and that's all I'm about.' I just thought it was really cool for him to put that as his real focus of what he was doing."

Leonard didn't score 40 points Monday, but his team won. That would have to be enough.

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a group of football players on the field: Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers (5) celebrates after kicking the game-winning field goal during overtime against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium.

Woike: Clippers need to find blueprint to win without Kawhi Leonard .
The Clippers didn't use the term "load management" in their justification for Kawhi Leonard missing the last two games. He didn't play because of a "knee contusion" — an injury he suffered Friday. Leonard's knee might really be bruised, and it might really be why he hasn't been available the last two games. But whatever the reason, it's obvious that Leonard's load is going to need to be managed this season because there's no hiding from it. The Clippers absolutely need him. Without him, they've been lost, unable to rely on the toughness that defined them a year ago.

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