In one of the most important games in Clippers franchise history, Kawhi Leonard delivered a superstar performance to prolong his team’s season.
Leonard was unreal in Game 6 against the Mavericks, dropping 45 points on 18-25 shooting, including 29 points in the second half. He was firing on all cylinders, hitting midrange jumpers and three-pointers regardless of who was defending him. In the fourth quarter, the Clippers hunted Luka Doncic in pick-and-roll, having whomever Doncic was guarding set a screen for Leonard in order to exploit the mismatch. To his credit, Doncic stayed in front of Leonard and kept a hand in his face, but it didn’t matter. Leonard hit two huge step-back threes within 40 seconds of each other to effectively put the game out of reach for Dallas.
After the game, Leonard said he had one thing on his mind: extending the First-Round series.
"I definitely didn't want to go home," Leonard said on SportsCenter. "We have to do whatever it takes to get a win if we don't want to go home. It's on us."
Leonard will in fact be going home, but it will be to play in a Game 7. Both teams have been defying the odds all series, as all six games have been won by the visitor (Friday’s win marks the first time in NBA history this has happened through six games). Leonard and the Clippers will hope that this trend ends on Sunday, as they aim to take the series in front of their home crowd.
Game 7 tips off on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.