Kawhi Leonard gave the LA Clippers a much-needed block late in Game Three vs. Denver.
With just under two minutes to play in Game Three of their best of seven series, the LA Clippers lead the Denver Nuggets by six points. Denver guard Jamal Murray drove to the hoop and took off for what looked to be a monster dunk, sure to ignite the Nuggets and give them momentum for the final minutes of play.
Until Kawhi Leonard gave him the finger.
Leonard met Murray at the rim and was able to block his shot by getting the tip of his left middle finger on the ball, giving the Clippers a well-timed, much-needed stop to help them hold onto their six-point lead and keep the Nuggets at arm’s-length for the remainder of the game.
Or…should we say finger’s length.
The Clippers would hold that six-point lead to the end of the game, taking a 2-1 lead in the series with a 113-107 victory.
Leonard’s legendary hands have been the topic of discussion before. At the 2011 NBA Draft Combine they were measured at an incredible 9.75 inches long. After the game, the focus was on his middle finger.
“That’s an extra-long middle finger,” Clippers guard Paul George said postgame. “Like, it kept growing or something. That’s Kawhi, man.”
“That play by Kawhi was amazing,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said “I didn’t know it was with one finger. I thought he just blocked it, but it was impressive. I didn’t even know where he came from.”
Leonard will need some additional help from his teammates as the series continues to ensure the Clippers take care of business against the Denver. The superstar said after their win that the team wants to stay consistent throughout the course of the game.
“I think we need to be consistent throughout the whole 48 minutes, but you got to give Denver credit,” Leonard said. “They are a good basketball team. They have been together for a while. They know how to make adjustments on the fly. They got a good coach. It’s playoff basketball. But for us, definitely want to see it throughout.”
The Nuggets have shown they have the determination to triumph in the face of adversity this year after overcoming a 3-1 deficit to the Utah Jazz in the opening round of the playoffs. The Clippers need to keep the pressure on, especially on the defensive end of the floor, to ensure they advance to the Western Conference Finals and beyond.
The Clippers hope it’ll be Kawhi’s ring finger that will soon be getting most of the attention.