Despite a new mask that his teammates jokingly called him “Leatherface,” Leonard returned from absenteeism in two games as he suffered a mouth laceration that required eight needles on Christmas night. At that time, I looked like myself.He had 28 points, 7 assists and 3 steals to lead the Clippers to 128-105 victory over- Portland Trail Blazers..
Later, Leonard said it took some time to get used to playing with the new accessories.
“It’s a little difficult to find out where the injury is,” said Leonard, who hit nine out of seventeen. “Some people have broken cheeks or broken noses. My stuff is like trying to protect the stitches from bumping or tearing, so it’s another scenario. Lips, chin, cheeks. I’m trying to protect it. “
Leonard’s face guard was open around his eyes and nose, but protected the area around his chin line and his mouth and lips. He said he missed the previous two games because he had to open his mouth and wait until he found the correct protective face gear.
Leonard hadn’t spoken to reporters with a bloody mouth because of a careless elbow from his teammates before he was kicked out of the Clippers victory in Denver last Friday’s fourth quarter. Serge Ibaka.. But friendly Leonard described the playful ribs he took from his teammates.
“That is, it’s hard to inhale the mask,” Leonard said. “I know they are starting to call me” leatherface “and so on. “
“But Serge can’t speak much,” Leonard added, adding his best friend Ibaka, who played with Leonard in Toronto. “We have now put him in a trading block, so let us know whoever wants him. We are trying to trade a surge.”
Leonard’s return to the starting lineup was a welcome sight for the Clippers (4-1).
Without the All-Star Forward, the Clippers played two completely different games. They suffered the worst defeat in franchise history when they lost 124-73 to Dallas on Sunday before blowing Minnesota 124-101 on Tuesday.
“They just played terrible, terrible basketball,” Leonard said of the Clippers. With 50 half-time, the Clippers caught up with Mavericks, the largest half-time deficit in NBA history.
Leonard is back and the Clippers harass the Blazers star Damian Lillard (20 points) For 3 to 14 shooting, including 0 to 8 nights from behind the 3 point arc. Leonard scored 16 points in the third quarter, collecting two steals and frequently slowing down from the defensive rebound.
“Early, especially in the first half, I thought he was a little tired and a little winding,” said Clippers coach Tyronn Lue. “In the third quarter, I thought he really pushed himself to attack Paint, played hard and started playing at a pace, so I thought he got a second breeze … Really took over that third quarter and built a lead. For us. “
Leonard said he might need to use a mouthpiece and that the team is still working on improving the face guard and will need to wear it until the stitches heal.
Leonard tries to enjoy as many moments as possible without worrying about the trivial things in court, everything that happened around the world in 2020, and in the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he gave the prospect.
“Everything that everyone in the world experiences in this pandemic loses a loved one and gives a perspective to life,” Leonard said. “As you know, we can’t stress the floor because we’ve been here so long, life generally goes fast, and even playing in this league ends faster.
“You really have to enjoy these moments as you go down or up 20 in the game. This is the most fun thing in basketball … so I think I was able to enjoy this moment.”
– NBA Sports
LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard, wearing face guard, 28 goals after two games missed
https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/30626672/la-clippers-kawhi-leonard-back-vs-portland-trail-blazers-two-game-absence LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard, wearing face guard, 28 goals after two games missed