Once again, the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Lakers on Thursday night.
Their 103-97 victory was the Clippers’ eighth consecutive regular-season win over the Lakers, which is their longest stretch since the 1970 season.
The team was led by Paul George, who earned a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Kawhi checked in and wasted no time getting a bucket 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Tinbw46Btd
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) October 21, 2022
But the big story was the return of Kawhi Leonard, who played his first game after more than a year away because of an ACL tear and recovery.
Leonard, who came off the bench, scored 14 points and 7 rebounds.
He got right to work when he entered the game, scoring his first bucket within seconds of stepping onto the court.
The former MVP doesn’t have the same speed and power as he once did but Leonard is back and he looks ready to pick up where he left off.
Kawhi Comes Back
Leonard hadn’t played an NBA game since June 6, 2021.
And he hasn’t come off the bench since November of 2013, nearly nine years ago.
Having Leonard come off the bench worked out very well for the Clippers, as he was able to close the game and help them achieve their big win over their rivals.
His 21 minutes were a bit rocky at times as he obviously lacks the speed that he once had and seems easier to defend – at least for now.
There is a strong possibility that Leonard will improve all of those facets of his game as he becomes used to playing again and gets back into the swing of things.