To start what has already been a historic career, the story of Luka Doncic cannot be told without mentioning Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers. In consecutive seasons, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the LA Clippers sent Luka Doncic home in the first round, despite his individual dominance. With injuries keeping the Clippers out of the 2022 playoffs, Luka drew the Utah Jazz in round one, and got his first career series win. Now in a tight battle with the one-seed Phoenix Suns, Luka is looking to use that prior experience to reach the Western Conference Finals.
During Thursday night's Game 6 broadcast between the Mavs and Suns, color commentator and former Mavericks guard JJ Redick recalled Kawhi Leonard's 2021 Game 6 performance against the Mavericks when talking about Luka's playoff career.
"We were up 3-2 and had Game 6 here, and Kawhi Leonard had one of the greatest individual games I’ve ever witnessed," Redick said. While he did not play in that series, Redick was on the team, and had a front-row seat to Kawhi Leonard's 45-point masterpiece. The Clippers would go on to win Game 7 at home, before making a run to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in club history.
As Luka Doncic continues to be a problem for the rest of the league, his battles with the Clippers in both 2020 and 2021 will age well for both sides. For the Clippers, they found a way to overcome some of the most dominant offensive play the game has ever seen. For Luka, he had his way with one of the league's most potent defensive teams, pushing them to the brink of elimination.