NBA

Paul George lauds Kawhi Leonard after duo's maiden Clippers outing

By Sports Desk November 21, 2019

Paul George was thrilled to take to the court alongside Kawhi Leonard for the first time as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Boston Celtics 107-104 in overtime.

After injuries to both players postponed their maiden outing together, the wait was ended in Wednesday's clash with the Celtics in LA.

George put up 25 points and eight assists, while Leonard finished with a 17-point haul that included a dazzling dunk over the towering Daniel Theis.

And George was full of praise for his fellow Spurs star.

"I mean, that's the Finals MVP, man," George said of Leonard. "He knows when it's time to take over.

"He's been there and he's won championships with multiple ball clubs, so he knows how to stomp and put that foot on opponents' neck and that's what you saw him do tonight.

"It was fun to see what this team can look like on the defensive end, and offensively it was fun to see how we can play off each other.

"The fact of the matter is we are going to have growing pains and I think the most positive thing is we understood that.

"Nobody was pointing fingers or dropping their heads in huddles ... at no point was this team ever dysfunctional."

For his part, Leonard recognises there is room for improvement as the duo bed in alongside each other, with game time the key.

"It's pretty much just finding each other's spots and knowing the plays," Leonard said.

"It's still tough. We are both kind of on a minute restriction, hard to get into a flow. But just knowing plays and each other's spots and the language on the defensive end [will help].

"Repetition is what we need right now."

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    Doc Rivers says every play was for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard and feels the star duo "came up big" to make Los Angeles Clippers history against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    George had 46 points and Leonard added 42 as they became the first Clippers team-mates to score over 40 in the same game, helping the team to a 124-117 win in Minneapolis.

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    George was involved the last time two team-mates scored over 40, doing it with Russell Westbrook at the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, but knew it was an impressive feat.

    "It's special, two guys offensively," George said. "It's great when both guys can get it going.

    "The thing about it is, we're dishing, finding each other, feeding each other. And then when we have moments to be aggressive, we're looking to get aggressive, attack, look for our shots. 

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    Leonard was thrilled with the performance but insisted Clippers wins were more important than he and George replicating their high points totals in future games.

    "It's great that we can have somebody else out there to help scoring the ball, making the game easier for myself," said last year's NBA Finals MVP.

    "We got into our spots early, made shots. Paul carried us in that second half."

    Asked if this was what he envisaged playing with George, Leonard said: "I didn't think that coming into the season. We just want to win a basketball game. 

    "If it's me having 10 and him having 40 or vice-versa, or Lou Will is going or Trezz [Montrezl Harrell] or somebody else having a great game, that is what I envision. I just want to envision winning games.

    "We're still trying to build our chemistry out there. We didn't close that third quarter too great. We [have] still got to improve."

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