Kemba Walker had the chance to play hero Wednesday night, but Kawhi Leonard had other ideas.
After Jayson Tatum’s step-back 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter tied the Boston Celtics’ meeting with the Los Angeles Clippers, the C’s needed another last-second triple in overtime. Down 107-104 with 1.6 seconds left, Marcus Smart hit Walker on the baseline with an inbounds pass, and Walker quickly tried to get the shot off. However, Leonard lunged to Walker and manager to get a piece of the shot and disrupt its path to end the game.
Credit to Walker, he did well to even give himself a decent look. And following the loss, Boston head coach Brad Stevens gave a good assessment of what happened.
“(Walker) lost a normal person on that cut,” Stevens said, via The Los Angeles Times. “He got enough separation to get it off against most of the league. The problem is, (Leonard’s) not normal. He’s not most of the league. And he made a great play to block it.”
Indeed, Leonard is no run-of-the-mill NBA player, especially on defense, and the Celtics paid the price for that Wednesday.
Thumbnail photo via Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports