Kawhi Leonard has given us no shortage of defensive highlights over the years, but today he produced a play for the ages in the LA Clippers' 113-107 win over the Denver Nuggets.
With 1:47 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Clippers in front 109-103, Jamal Murray attacked the rack with purpose, looking for the poster jam over Leonard, but the two-time Defensive Player of the Year had other ideas.
Murray took flight, only to be met by the outstretched hand of Leonard, who somehow managed to reject the shot using only the tip of his middle finger!
I mean, they call him The KLAW for a reason, right?
"It's like he's got a baseball glove on!"- NBA (@NBA) September 8, 2020
📺: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/YBTifRVQns
Not only was the block worthy of watching on repeat, it came at a crucial time as Denver looked to cut the deficit to four points on the back of a momentum-changing dunk.
Even Leonard's teammates, who are used to seeing these types of plays were left in awe.
"That's an extra-long middle finger. It kept growing or something," Paul George jokingly said post-game. "That's Kawhi, man. Big-time player. The mitts, it's something else."
"That's Kawhi, man." - @Yg_Trece- NBA (@NBA) September 8, 2020
NBA Playoffs Press Conferences Presented by #ATT pic.twitter.com/b9VbeLiiwd
George led the Clippers with 32 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals on the night, while Leonard added 23 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks - in classic Kawhi fashion, he saw his monster rejection as just making another defensive play.
KAWHI LEONARD MIDDLE FINGER BLOCK pic.twitter.com/2MNqoPPcr8- Henry Bushnell (@HenryBushnell) September 8, 2020
"I just seen him [Murray] penetrating and I was help-side," Leonard said. "So I stepped up, tried to contest his shot. I saw that he was gonna try to dunk it, so I reached and tried to block the shot. I ended up getting the block.
His NBA peers couldn't get enough of it:
The Middle finger memes will be legendary lol- Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) September 8, 2020
Board man gets paid!!!- Joe Crawford (@JoeCrawford5) September 8, 2020
Kawhi is a damn SAVAGE!!!- Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) September 8, 2020
Said it 3 times. Been dying laughing watching. https://t.co/qJO5nkgkry- Grant Williams (@Grant2Will) September 8, 2020
He blocked it with his middle finger 😂😭- Josh Okogie (@CallMe_NonStop) September 8, 2020
The Clippers will take plenty of confidence from their performance in Game 3, especially on the defensive end as they held the Nuggets to just 19 points in the fourth quarter on just 31.8% shooting, including 1-of-9 from beyond the arc.
The Nuggets will look to hit back in Game 4 and level the series once again, when the two teams square off on Thursday, September 10 at 6:30 a.m. IST.
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