(Basketball news) Kawhi Leonard returned from injury to beat the best team in the league Boston Celtics 113-93. For the Clippers, 26 points from Paul George and Leonard’s season highs of 25 points and nine rebounds helped them to victory. Leonard also had six assists in his best all-around game of a young season that has been interrupted at times while he eases his way back from ACL surgery that cost him all of last season. Jaylen Brown scored 21 points to lead the Celtics, who dropped two losses in a row for only the second time this season. They had won eight of 10 but they lost to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. Jayson Tatum added 20 points which was well below his 30-point average and Malcolm Brogdon had 18 points off the bench. With this result the Clippers improved their record to 16-13 while Celtics still have the best record in the NBA 21-7.
”Told the guys, `Let’s get out and run, let’s play faster,”’ coach Tyronn Lue said.
”We did a great job pretty much across the whole board,” George said.
”Only my ninth game,” Leonard said. ”You can’t rush it. Yeah, just gotta keep moving.”
”How he played was huge, just seeing him get his rhythm back,” Lue said of Leonard. ”The last couple games just playing with more pace. He’s been feeling good.”
The Brooklyn Nets continued their resurgence by beating the Washington Wizards 112-100. For the Nets, Kevin Durant scored 30 points as Irving had 24 points. For the Wizards, Will Barton scored a season-high 22 points as Kristaps Porzingis scored 20 points while Kuzma also added 20 points, who lost their season-worst seventh game in a row and now face a six-game trip out West that could bury them in the Eastern Conference standings. Washington was missing leading scorer Bradley Beal for the fourth straight game because of a right hamstring strain. With this result the Nets improved their record to 17-13 and moved 4th in the standings after a dismal start to the season.
”Man, let’s just go win ballgames. That’s it, that’s really what the attitude is,” Irving said. ”We know the talent we have. This is our group. No more excuses, no more distractions.”
”I thought you saw our guys look extremely fresh,” Vaughn said. ”We had a lot of juice to start the game, and plenty to finish.”
”Hopefully we start getting some guys back. Hopefully, that’s the plan,” said Kyle Kuzma, who scored 20 points. ”Tough stretch, we’ve lost a lot in a row, now we’re going to the West playing all playoff teams. So if we don’t figure it out, it’s going to be a long trip.”