After leading the Los Angeles Clippers to victory for the second time in two games this season over their crosstown rivals in the Los Angeles Lakers, Kawhi Leonard was in no mood to give the win too much importance.
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"It does nothing," Leonard said the impact of the victory on the Los Angeles rivalry with the Lakers in his postgame on-court interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters.
"It's one game out of the season, whoever won this game is not going to win a L.A. championship or anything, so you know both teams have got their eyes on the biggest prize."
"Play every possession and play hard so we can keep building on something and get better."@kawhileonard on converting the comeback on Christmas Day. pic.twitter.com/vq28jSMcL1- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 26, 2019
Leonard finished with a game-high 35 points (11-19 FG's) while also recording 12 rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes. He was crucial down the stretch, scoring nine of the Clippers' game-sealing 17-5 run over the last 6:23 minutes of the game.
"He was terrific," Clippers head coach said on Leonard's performance. "He made big shots, he made big passes, and I thought that little action at the top of the key with him [Leonard], Lou [Williams], and Trez [Montrezl Harrell] was really good."
Paul George, who missed the opening night clash between these two teams earlier this season, echoed those sentiments when talking to reporters post-game.
Paul George on what tonight's win over the Lakers means in the big picture: "Nothing." pic.twitter.com/pKosuC3sUb- Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 26, 2019
George had an off-night as he recorded 17 points (5-18 FG's) in 37 minutes.
This win comes after the Clippers had lost three of their previous five. It also gives them a chance to grab some much-needed momentum as they are set to play seven of their next nine games at home at the STAPLES Center, where they have a record of 14-2 and have won 10 of their previous 11.
Meanwhile, for LeBron James, it was a tough night at the office, despite finishing with a near triple-double of 23 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds.
James shot just 9-of-24 from the field and 2-of012 from the three-point line and appeared to re-injure his groin when he attempted to take a charge on a layup attempt by Patrick Beverley early in the first quarter.
Lakers' LeBron James: "I felt healthy going into the game. The second or third defensive possession, I got kneed in the groin taking a charge from Pat Beverley. That kind of sent me back to where I was five days ago." pic.twitter.com/KHWoCjyMZQ- Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) December 26, 2019
For the Lakers, this was the fourth consecutive loss after they had won seven straight. Just like the Clippers, they have a chance to get some momentum as they are set to play five of their next six at home at STAPLES Center.