After sitting out on Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks due to the dreaded “load management,” Kawhi Leonard made a double statement on Thursday night as his Los Angeles Clippers took on the Portland Trail Blazers. Not only did he score 27 points, 18 of which came in the decisive fourth quarter and grab 13 rebounds, but he also made it clear that he would not be changing his approach in the future following the 107-101 victory.
After the game, he said he would keep on doing his resting as needed, just as he did last season with the Toronto Raptors as they went on to win the NBA title. It was not the first time that Leonard had letdown a bit in the early going. He missed 10 of his first 13 shots, perhaps due to rustiness, but rebounded in a big way in the final quarter. He also played great defense in the final period, helping shut down Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. They both had 22 points apiece in the loss.