Prior to returning for the Clippers matchup with the Hornets in Charlotte on Monday night, Kawhi Leonard had missed L.A.'s previous six games with a right ankle injury. During that time on the sideline, he clearly didn't lose his touch when it comes to hitting clutch shots.
With the Clippers trailing 117-115 and only 45 seconds remaining on the clock in Charlotte, Leonard made two consecutive baskets to lift L.A. to a 119-117 victory. The first basket came on the offensive glass after he was able to corral a loose ball tapped into the paint by Paul George after a missed shot from Marcus Morris. That bucket tied the game up at 117 apiece.
Then, with the clock winding down and the score still knotted up, the ball was in Leonard's hands again. This time, he calmly sank a jumper over the outstretched arms of Jalen McDaniels. The shot sealed the deal for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game losing streak with the win.
Leonard finished the game with 16 points, six rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes of action. He was joined in double-figures by five other Clippers players, including Paul George, who had 19 points and seven assists. Leonard's clutch-ness proved to be the story of the game, though, and you can see both of his late buckets below:
Leonard has had a relatively slow start to the season, due largely to injury issues. He has dealt with some lingering soreness in his surgically repaired right knee, and then he was sidelined with the ankle issue. In the meantime, it's been tough to get a real read on the Clippers with their best player spending so much time on the sideline. We do know that they're going to need Leonard to be healthy and productive if they're going to reach their ceiling as a team so, hopefully, he can remain out on the floor as the season wears on.