There were certainly more elements that contributed to the Clippers’ 118-104 win Monday night over the Utah Jazz at Staples Center that tied up the second-round playoff series, 2-2.
Leonard (31 points), Paul George (31) and Marcus Morris Sr. (24) all cracked double digits (24). Though Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell finished with 37 points on 9-of-25 shooting, he had only four points on 2-of-6 shooting in the first quarter. Utah also sorely missed All-Star guard Mike Conley, who missed his fourth consecutive playoff game because of a right hamstring injury. The Jazz shot only 14-of-40 in the first half.
Leonard also might have suffered an injury to his right leg. After Jazz ahead Joe Ingles fouled him with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter, Leonard walked off the court and clutched his right knee. He returned to the court before missing both free throws. But then the Clippers called timeout with 4:58 left and took him out of the game. Leonard did not return even after the Jazz’s timeout with 3:11 remaining after standing up on his own and talking to the Clippers’ coaching staff.
Leonard did not receive any treatment while sitting on the bench. But he grimaced a few times while stretching out his right leg.
Nonetheless, Leonard’s highlight-reel play will certainly be the most memorable.
First, Leonard drove past Jazz forward Royce O’Neal before meeting Favors near the basket. So Leonard jumped and extended his right arm over Favors. After finishing the dunk that gave the Clippers a 62-38 lead with 1:22 left in the second quarter, Leonard stared right at Favors.
With plays like that, the Clippers extended this at least to a six-game series and tied a series after trailing 0-2 for the second consecutive time. The Clippers and Jazz will play Game 5 on Wednesday in Salt Lake City and a potentially decisive Game 6 on Friday at Staples Center. Game 6 will be at full capacity since city ordinances will allow public events to operate without restrictions beginning on Tuesday.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kawhi Leonard’s dunk captures Clippers’ Game 4 dominance vs. Jazz