With less than three minutes left in the LA Clippers' Sunday game against the Nets, Kawhi Leonard pounded the ball twice to his left, rose up and faded away, finding the bottom of the net off a mid-range jumper.
It didn't look like Leonard cared much, however. The veteran forward stoically back-pedaled to defense as the sea of red, blue and white thundered around him. This bucket was just his fourth field goal of the game, and it gifted the Clippers their first lead of the day.
Leonard would go on to score eight more points en route to a 21-point game (14 of those points coming in the final five minutes). And point by point, the crowd would go increasingly more rambunctious as the Clippers rolled into a 22-0 run in the final five minutes, stealing away what looked to be a probable Brooklyn victory.
"It was like a party there tonight," James Harden said in the post-game conference. "The energy was on 100, like literally. Obviously, fans come in and cheer and they enjoy the game...but that right there is a home-court advantage. That’s what it’s about."
Coming into this game, the Clippers spent much of the week promoting 'The Wall', a Steve Ballmer-backed home court advantage that features 51 uninterrupted rows reserved for true Clippers fans. But this game showed, with or without the lines of hard-screaming, face-painted Clippers fanatics, there's a new kind of excitement surrounding this team.
And it showed on the floor.