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Kawhi Leonard reveals key to Clippers’ recent hot streak

Kawhi Leonard, Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are grooving once again, winners of their last four after a 110-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks and taking the W in eight of their last 10 games.

Kawhi Leonard, who has received criticism for his injury/load management throughout the season, feels his team is finally starting to click after a see-saw portion of the 2019-20 campaign.

Per Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times:

“We’ve been watching film together, seeing what mistakes we’ve been making,” said Kawhi Leonard, who scored 36 points against the Mavs. “Everybody just giving the effort of their mind and body in wanting to compete, make winning plays and just be a better basketball team.”

Leonard’s 36 points gave him at least 30 points in six consecutive games, tying a career-high mark. These six 30-point games have coincided with Paul George’s absence from the lineup as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

The Clippers have been unable to put out a fully healthy lineup for much of the season, but Leonard has managed to thrust his team into a 5-1 record without George.

Tuesday’s win over the Mavs showcased a different Leonard, one who struggled to hit shots (12-of-29 from the floor) but came up clutch with seven points in the final minutes of the game, including his lone 3-pointer to put the game away.

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, always the team’s biggest critic, admits he’s seeing his team take shape:

“Everybody knows where they’re supposed to be now,” said Rivers. “We get it in transition, we get it in our sets, we get the spacing, the ball is moving. I don’t have a lot of gripes about this team right now.”

The Clippers now have a slim half-game lead over the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets, sitting in second place and 3.5 games back of their hallway rival Los Angeles Lakers.