LOS ANGELES – Intrigue: The Clippers turned to a hungry unit in the back of the bench to eat away on the Atlanta Hawks’ huge lead and assist save a swiftly escaped recreation.
And the little-used Luke Kennard these days was the purpose guard of the brash bench crew which additionally starred Terance Mann, Patrick Patterson, Amir Coffey and Nicolas Batum.
Kennard reinvigorated the Clippers on Monday with a elegant scoring efficiency, making all eight pictures and a little bit of franchise historical past, and in so doing, boosting his staff to an impressed 119-110 victory of their first significant motion in three. matches.
After enjoying simply as soon as – and for simply 6 minutes, 31 seconds – within the Clippers’ final three outings, Kennard turned the primary participant in staff historical past to report at the least 20 factors, seven rebounds and 4 assists. in lower than 20 minutes of play. No NBA participant had accomplished it since Giannis Antetokounmpo in November 2019.
Kennard’s 20 factors got here on an ideal 8-on-8 taking pictures efficiency that featured 4 3-pointers, together with one after Euro entered a half-court financial institution shot on the buzzer within the third quarter.
He additionally delivered the cross go to an open Mann for the three pointer who returned the lead – misplaced lengthy earlier than, with 8:55 left within the first quarter – to the Clippers. On Mann’s 3-point, LA climbed again to 110-108 with 2:42 remaining and didn’t surrender the benefit once more.
“It’s positively one of many funniest video games I’ve performed in my basketball profession,” Kennard mentioned. “Not even simply the NBA, however simply enjoying basketball. These are the primary two, if not on the prime. It was very enjoyable.”
“I am so pleased for Luke Kennard,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue mentioned. “He is positively gained – he is gained one thing. And when he walked into the locker room, the fellows threw water throughout him and jumped up and down for him. Everybody loves Luke and we’re simply pleased he is enjoying properly proper now and simply pleased for him on an evening like tonight.
When Kennard – together with Mann, Patterson, Coffey and Batum – entered the sport with 6:29 left within the third quarter, the Clippers had been on the wing, trailing 21 factors, regardless of a 10-point lead seven minutes after the beginning of the primary. interval.
Aggravated, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue was on the lookout for one thing, something to revive the Clippers in opposition to the Searing Hawks, who seemed set to increase their profitable streak to 9 video games.
“Simply pissed off at first simply with the best way we performed,” Lue mentioned of his determination to place the sport again on the bench. “Like I mentioned, these guys practice daily. They competed in follow and performed 5 on 5 thereafter. I simply needed to place a band collectively to attempt to change issues up, play onerous and compete and these guys did a hell of a job.
“Terance Mann, Luke Kennard, Pat Pat, Nico, Amir, all of them got here and introduced us again into the sport.”
Kennard didn’t depart the sector after setting foot there on Monday. When he left, profitable in tow, it was with a profession report plus 30 in 19 minutes of motion.
After Kennard’s half-court financial institution cry counted, decreasing the deficit to a manageable 90-82 coming into the ultimate interval, Lue saved the identical 5 on the court docket till he reintroduced his superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George (eight factors, seven assists) after a timeout with 9:04 to go and the Clippers lag behind by seven factors.
“I am a staff participant, I nonetheless believed that,” mentioned Leonard, describing his ideas when Lue made the personnel change on the court docket. “There was numerous time left, about seven minutes after we checked out, I simply stayed within the recreation, clapped, you already know, at all times telling the fellows to play onerous, that was good, that was enjoyable to look at .
“I imply, you see a teammate dive to the bottom whereas giving all the pieces that conjures up you to do the identical, and that is what they did. They had been nonetheless competing, operating onerous and issues occurred for them.
On his return, Leonard scored 11 of his staff’s 25 factors within the fourth quarter. He additionally recorded 5 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and confirmed notable emotion to assist the Clippers enhance to 28-16 and win back-to-back video games for the primary time since mid-February.
“I used to be simply pleased with everybody’s effort, even when the starters got here again they gave a lot effort, they had been there to get deflections, rebounds, guards,” mentioned Mann, who contributed 10 rebounds, a season-high 21 factors, together with a career-high 11 within the closing interval and contagious vitality.
“I imply Kawhi obtained an enormous block, they had been there to facilitate, Kawhi hit two huge 3s to shut it – they got here again with an effort and I used to be simply pleased with everybody’s efforts to reverse the Sport.”
Due to his rebounding bench, the Clippers improved to 27-4 in video games they led by at the least 10 factors.
Trae Younger scored 28 factors for the Hawks within the loss, as they misplaced the profitable streak and fell to 22-21. Tony Snell, Leonard’s teammate at Martin Luther King Excessive Faculty in Riverside, scored 13 factors.