Leonard’s 33 Points Lead Clippers To 136-125 Victory Over Pistons

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons, NBA News
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points, 21 of which he scored in the first half, propelling the Los Angeles Clippers to a 136-125 victory over the Detroit Pistons during Friday’s NBA action.

Russell Westbrook contributed 23 points to reach the milestone of becoming the 25th player in NBA history to accumulate 25,000 career points. Westbrook, who also recorded nine assists, matched his teammate James Harden in achieving the 25,000-point landmark, a feat Harden reached in December. Westbrook’s milestone was achieved with a running layup in the game’s closing minutes.

Expressing his appreciation, Westbrook highlighted his gratitude for being part of the team and the significance of not taking such moments for granted.

“I’m so grateful to be on this team,” Westbrook said. “I don’t take any of this for granted.”

Despite an initial lag, trailing by 14 points in the first quarter, the Clippers bounced back impressively, amassing 109 points across the last three quarters. Their shooting accuracy was formidable, hitting 59.6% from the field and 48.3% from beyond the arc.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons Updates

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue acknowledged early defensive oversights but credited the team’s improved focus post the initial timeout. He noted the Pistons’ competitive edge under Monty Williams, especially considering their youthful roster’s challenges in finishing games strongly.

“We had a bunch of defensive mistakes at the start of the game,” Lue said. “We weren’t guarding their shooters the way we planned, but we started paying attention to detail after the first timeout. Monty (Williams) has the Pistons playing pretty good basketball, but it is tough to close games with such a young team.”

Paul George added 18 points to the Clippers’ tally, marking their seventh win in eight games. Returning from a groin injury, George’s performance was efficient, contributing significantly in his 27:20 minutes on the court.

“He looked good,” Lue said. “We were going to play him more minutes, but we didn’t need him.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons Updates

The Pistons saw standout performances from Jalen Ivey with 28 points and Bojan Bogdanovic with 26 points, but their efforts were insufficient to counter the Clippers’ offensive onslaught. Marcus Sasser also chipped in with 21 points for Detroit, which has struggled significantly after a promising start to the season.

Williams pointed out the detrimental impact of turnovers and lapses in discipline against a team of the Clippers’ caliber, emphasizing the need for better ball control.

“You can’t have turnovers and some of the undisciplined errors we had against a team like that,” Williams said. “It’s something that has hurt us all season long. When we take care of (the ball), we have a better chance of success.”

The Clippers maintained a lead from halftime onwards, with Leonard and the team continuing their scoring spree into the second half. Despite a brief Pistons’ rally, the Clippers secured their lead entering the final quarter, eventually winning.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons Updates

Westbrook’s interaction with Ivey post-game underscored the veteran’s influence and mentorship toward the younger player, reflecting on their shared experiences and Westbrook’s advice.

“I actually got to work out with Russ before the start of my rookie year,” Ivey said. “He gave me a lot of advice. He’s just a great, humble dude. He took me under his wing a little bit.”

Looking ahead, the Clippers are set to face the Miami Heat, while the Pistons will host the Orlando Magic, both games scheduled for Sunday.

Clippers Land Wizards’ Deni Avdija In NBA Trade Proposal

Nothing in life is free. Nothing in the NBA is free, either. When a team makes a trade, it’s always going to come at a

Draymond Green Almost Left Warriors For Grizzlies Last Summer

Four-time NBA champion Draymond Green almost left the Golden State Warriors for the Memphis Grizzlies last summer. Green was an unrestricted free agent last offseason.

Bulls’ Zach LaVine To Undergo Season-Ending Foot Surgery

Zach LaVine’s challenging season peaked on Saturday afternoon, as the Chicago Bulls announced the two-time NBA All-Star guard will miss the rest of the season