Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard knows giving up 130 points ‘isn’t going to cut it’
The Los Angeles Clippers looked like the juggernaut they were expected to be in their first two games, handling the Los Angeles Lakers with relative ease and then embarrassing the Golden State Warriors. The Clippers stumbled in their third game of the season, though, falling to the Phoenix Suns in somewhat stunning fashion, 130-122.
The Suns have been a pleasant surprise to start this season after being a disaster for years, but it was still shocking to see LA give up a whopping 130 points in Phoenix. This is especially true given Deandre Ayton is serving a 25-game suspension.
Clippers star Kawhi Leonard knows the defense they played on Saturday night won’t get the job done:
Kawhi: "130 (points allowed) isn’t going to cut it. we’re not going to win games if other teams get 130. We started too late. Early on, easy three balls for them, some easy layups and that pretty much hurt us tonight when we weren’t making shots in the beginning."
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) October 27, 2019
The Suns shot an even 50% from the field, including a terrific 17-of-43 from beyond the 3-point line. Devin Booker was the high man for the home squad, pouring in 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting while handing out eight assists.
Meanwhile, Frank Kaminsky took full advantage of his increased role with Ayton out. Kaminsky came off the bench as Aron Baynes’ backup and went for 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists in 29 minutes of action. The Suns outscored the Clippers by 15 points with Kaminsky on the floor.
The Clippers’ offense found plenty of success after a sluggish start, with Leonard nearly recording a triple-double with 27 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. But he knows those gaudy numbers don’t matter if the defense can’t get stops.
The good news is LA shouldn’t have nights like this very often, and help is on the way in the form of Paul George.