James Harden closed out, contested teammate Kawhi Leonard’s 3-point shot

March 22, 2024 in Sports

The Clippers were cruising, up 21 and just having one of those nights where everything goes right, all at the expense of Portland.

That’s when James Haden drove the lane, kicked out to Kawhi Leonard in the strong-side corner… then turned and closed out on him, with Harden contesting Leonard’s shot.

Insert your own “that’s the most defense Harden played all night” joke here.

So… why?

“Gotta bring some excitement to this team. I think these last few weeks has bee a fog for us and every team goes through it. It was just me trying to create some energy, create a vibe for this team. It would have been even better if he made the shot, but it gives us something to laugh about. Gives us some excitement.”

Exciting or not, the Clippers got a needed 116-103 win, keeping them a full game ahead of the Pelicans for the No. 4 seed in the West. Harden had 19 points and 14 assists, Leonard had 24 points in the win.