Kawhi rising over Tristan Thompson scoring 3 of his 43 points against the Cavaliers at Staples Center (photo credits Jevone Moore/LA Sentinel)

As the third quarter came to a close Kawhi Leonard grabbed the rebound off a Cavaliers miss, pushed the ball up the court, stopped, and rose up for a 26-foot three pointer for a season-high 43 points. 

The Kawhi takeover was in full effect against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Three quarters is all Doc Rivers needed from his two-time NBA Champion as the Clippers defeated the Cavs, 128-103.

“Impressive win by the Clippers today. I can see now why [Kawhi Leonard] was a world champion and MVP, and you see why they’re a really good team. They could win it all, as well,” said Cavaliers Head Coach John Beilein. 

Paul George was sidelined once again for a third straight game, but the Clippers still found a way to execute one of their most efficient games of the season. The Clippers led the Cavs in almost all categories at halftime shooting 52.4% from the arc, dishing out 20 assists, and hauling in 27 rebounds. 

Coming off a loss to the Denver Nuggets last game the Clippers made a statement early with their offense clicking on all cylinders. Kawhi made it his focus to get going early scoring 26 points at half, getting rid of the slow start trend. 


“We had like 20 assists at the half, we were sharing the ball, that is a fun way to play and with all the weapons we have on this team it is hard to defend,” said Clippers guard Landry Shamet. “I think we did a really good job rebounding defensively and getting out and running. That is the best way for us to play so that points to it.”

Lou Will netting 2 of his 24 points in victory over Cavaliers at Staples Center (photo credits Jevone Moore/LA Sentinel)

Kawhi’s championship pedigree was on full display Tuesday night at Staples Center. His focus has shifted on exemplifying what it takes to win and become a winner on a nightly basis with his teammates. 

“Just telling everybody what it takes to win, try to communicate and make sure we don’t skip steps. Also just leading by example,” said Kawhi about his leadership role.

The Clippers as a unit played well in front of the Staples crowd. Lou Williams chipped in the rout with 24 points. Ivica Zubac collected a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Pat Beverley hustled all over the court scoring 10 points to go along with 9 rebounds. 

Bouncing back from a tough loss was the remedy needed for the Clippers. What was so impressive was the execution used to win which is what Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers strives to reach by the end of the season on a consistent basis. 

Pat Beverley dribbles the ball up the court helping lead to Clippers to victory with 10 points & 9 rebounds (photo credits Jevone Moore/LA Sentinel)

“We are just looking at being the better basketball team each day. It is all we talk about everyday, our job is to get better each day and this cannot be the best we are right now,” said Doc. “By game 82, that has to be the best we are. Every night is an opportunity to get better, that is all we talk about.”

The Clippers will look to play even better basketball when they host the Orlando Magic Thursday, January 16th at Staples Center.