Kawhi Leonard and Jakob Poeltl's careers will forever be intertwined; after all, Poeltl was part of the package that brought Leonard to the Toronto Raptors in 2018. Five years later, with Leonard now playing for the Clippers and Poeltl back with the team he began his career with in 2016, they found themselves in each other's paths once more.
With the Clippers up by 13 against the Raptors, 98-85, with around five minutes left in the contest, Leonard looked to drive the final nail in the Raptors' coffins. And that's exactly what he did. Taking on defensive juggernaut OG Anunoby from the halfcourt line, Leonard utilized a burst of speed to get to the hoop. That was when Poeltl decided to meet Leonard in the paint. But a misguided idea it proved to be.
Jakob Poeltl did not even stand a chance to block the shot, as Kawhi Leonard powered through him as if he was there. Leonard ended up bodying him on the way to a nasty poster jam that should put any and all questions about whether he's washed or not to bed.
KAWHI LEONARD DETONATES ON JAKOB POELTL 💥 pic.twitter.com/MCOM5jAlky
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 9, 2023
Of course, as beloved as Leonard is by the Clippers faithful, this filthy hammer on Poeltl's throats sent them into a social media frenzy.
— Bash M (@Bashshkee) March 9, 2023
Kawhi Leonard 🤯🤯🤯👽👽
— Saif Nayef (@saif_nayef5) March 9, 2023
Kawhi Leonard plays basketball like it's a Nerf mini-hoop
— Yair (@hotcoldsports) March 9, 2023
As nasty as Kawhi Leonard's dunk was, nothing comes easy to the Clippers these days. Despite building a 15-point lead off of Leonard's dunk, the Clippers proceeded to give up a 15-4 run to the Raptors, which trimmed their lead to four. This was shaping up to be a collapse reminiscent of their fourth quarter troubles against the Sacramento Kings during their 176-175 double overtime thriller two weeks ago.
But an Ivica Zubac lob from Paul George basically put the game to bed, giving the Clippers a 108-100 victory in the end, their 35th win of the season in 68 tries. This win and the Dallas Mavericks' loss to the New Orleans Pelicans puts the Clippers at sixth in the Western Conference standings at the moment.
Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 24 points on 8-15 shooting, with no two points bigger than the ridiculous poster jam he had on Jakob Poeltl.