Kawhi Leonard returned to the San Antonio Spurs lineup on Tuesday night and he jumped right into the deep end. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich started Leonard, albeit on a minutes restriction, and it seemed like he picked up right where he left off. Leonard immediately went 3-3 from the floor and Spurs fans everywhere were excited.
Kawhi Leonard made his return to the court last night, putting up 13 points + 6 boards, an assist and a block. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/JkEdjQQxb4
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 13, 2017
When it was all said and done, Leonard played 16 minutes, scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds. The Spurs ultimately lost to the Dallas Mavericks on the road, 95-89. But in classic Gregg Popovich fashion, the result of a regular season game took a backseat to the bigger picture at hand, the return of his superstar wingman. Coach Pop and fellow star forward LaMarcus Aldridge were beyond elated with what they saw from Leonard.
Following comes from Mike C. Wright of ESPN.
“I thought he was wonderful,” Popovich said. “He’s trying to get some rust off and that kind of thing. Obviously, he’s confident. He’s a heck of a player, and it was really frustrating for him to just start getting loose and have to come off the court.”
“He looked good,” said Aldridge, who led the Spurs with 23 points and 13 rebounds. “It’s going to take him time to get back to the Kawhi that we know. I thought he looked good. First game in a long time. He looked comfortable out there making plays. He brings so many things to the game that we don’t have right now. He’s a great defender. He can score a number of ways, and he can make plays. We definitely miss that.”
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