Is San Antonio Spurs’ forward Kawhi Leonard the truth? Well, he certainly made a case for it Monday night in the team’s matchup against the Houston Rockets — all at the expense of Rockets’ point guard James Harden, and he did it deep in the clutch.
Leonard scored 39 points in the game and hit the game-winning three pointer with 24 seconds left in the game. But what was most shocking is that he went back during the rebound as Harden tried to tie the game with a layup and swatted the ball off the backboard. Ultimately, with some smart defense and ball handling, the clock was left to run out with a 112-110 win for the Spurs.
That put Leonard’s name in the mouths of many sports writers as a potential MVP. He joins Harden LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook in that conversation.
Said ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith:
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 7, 2017
Yahoo! Sports Michael Lee agrees:
Kawhi Leonard’s 24 second argument for MVP pic.twitter.com/1G1BhhPJ21
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) March 7, 2017
But wouldn’t you know it? Leonard winds up subject to a random drug test right after his performance. The NBA tests players four times per season and twice in the off season.
The test delayed his press appearance after the game, but when Leonard did speak to the media, he was characteristically modest.
“I don’t really think about how other guys play the game,” Leonard said. “I’m just playing basketball, trying to make my team the best team right now coming down this stretch.