The Rundown: Leonard hits game-winner in return vs. Hornets

Published December 6, 2022, 3:00 PMPolo Bustamante

Back like he never left, Kawhi Leonard delivers the most crucial shot for the Clippers.


Clippers 119, Hornets 117

Bucks 109, Magic 102

Thunder 121, Hawks 114

Celtics 116, Raptors 110

Rockets 132, 76ers 123

Grizzlies 101, Heat 93

Mavericks 130, Suns 111

Pacers 112, Warriors 104

What went down

It was Kawhi Leonard’s first game back after missing the last six games. He was a little rusty in today’s game, needing 15 shots to get his 16 points. But when it mattered most, he came up big.

It was a surprisingly tight game between the LA Clippers and Charlotte Hornets. After the Clippers built a 13-point lead midway through the game, the Hornets were able to chip away at that advantage and even take a two-point lead heading into the final minute of the game. 

That was when Leonard came alive. He was able to sneak into the paint after a missed three-pointer by Marcus Morris to corral the loose ball and score over multiple defenders to tie the count at 117 with less than 40 seconds left in the game.

The Clippers were able to get the stop in their next possession and gave themselves the chance to win the game. Even if it was his first game back, LA went to Leonard in their final possession. 

With less than 10 seconds left on the clock, Leonard stared down Jalen McDaniels on the right wing. He ripped the ball through, dribbled to his left, stepped back, and sank the dagger over the outstretched arms of his defender. 

Just like he’s done so many times before, Leonard hit the biggest shot of the game to deliver the W. It was a much-needed one to end a two-game losing streak. The Clippers need more of that from Leonard this season in order to live up to the potential as a championship contender.

Big-time baller

Andrew Nembhard has been BALLING.

Last week he completed the Indiana Pacers’ comeback over the LA Lakers with his game-winner at the buzzer.

This week, he outplayed Steph Curry in front of a stunned Bay Area crowd. 

Nembhard finished with 31 points and 13 assists. He  hit five three-pointers and scored at a 61.9 percent clip. Curry had an awful game by comparison. He managed only 12 points on 17.6 percent shooting. Even Curry couldn’t believe what was happening.

What he said

The Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns have all the ingredients of a good rivalry. But the most important ingredient of all is beef. There’s legitimate beef between both teams. Luka Doncic doesn’t like Devin Booker and the Suns. Booker and the Suns feel the same way about Doncic and the Mavs.

Unfortunately for the Suns, all that chirping in today’s game fired up Doncic. He said that he relished playing well today, especially on defense because of all the talking that was happening between him and the Suns bench.

The Suns should have learned by now to never piss off Doncic. Or else he does bad things to your team.

Did you see that?

It’s no secret that Giannis Antetokounmpo has been struggling from the line this season. That’s one of the reasons he had that post-game game altercation involving Montrezl Harrell and the Philadelphia 76ers staff.

Antetokounmpo has been taking his time to relax before free throws in an effort to shoot better. Today, that backfired on him when he took too much time to relax.