San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard proved why he deserves to be at the top of the conversation for MVP in just a matter of seconds Monday night — about 15 to be be exact.
Leonard and the Spurs took on the Houston Rockets at home Monday in a high-scoring game that came down to the last 30 seconds of the game. Leonard scored 17 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter to give the Spurs chance at the end and then took over the game at both ends of the floor to clinch the comeback win, 112-110.
With the Spurs down 107-108, Leonard brought the ball down the court himself, came off a screen beyond the three-point arc and immediately buried a deep three to go up 110-108. Then, with James Harden coming straight back at him, Leonard got blind-sided by a screen, fought over it and chased down Harden to pin what would have been a game-tying layup against the backboard.
Leonard is always in the discussion for MVP, but always seems to be considered a dark-horse candidate. No, he’s not averaging a triple-double like a Russell Westbrook, but this sequence is a prime example of what Leonard does on the floor night in and night out.
If the video isn’t convincing enough for you, just ask his teammates. The Spurs’ Pau Gasol explained exactly why Leonard deserves the prestigious award, simply saying that there are two parts to the game of basketball and Leonard is excellent at both.
“He’s contributing at both ends of the floor as opposed to a guy who just scores 30 points per game and that is it.”
Yep, that’s it. Enough said, Pau.