Los Angeles Clippers star forward Kawhi Leonard acknowledged that something has to change after his team suffered another collapse and blew a big lead. The Clippers, who beat the Golden State Warriors 108-101 on Wednesday, were up 85-63 against the Warriors two days later with 3:15 remaining in the third quarter but then suffered a collapse as Golden State won 115-105.
In the playoffs last year, the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Clippers blew big leads in each of the last three games of the Nuggets series. "We just have to change, pretty much," said Leonard, after his team's latest second half collapse, per ESPN.
"We've got to change it. We've got to get better." Clippers co-star Paul George shared the same thoughts as Leonard after his team blow another big lead. "We just want to, just be great as a unit, just demand greatness out of everybody," George said.
"We got to be better. All of us included. This was a team loss, more than anything. We just got to get better. We'll work on it." "I think this is good that something like this happened for this team so early," George added.
"Because fact of the matter is, we have to be a better closing-out team."
Leonard not sharing the Clippers' locker room talk
"I'm not about to tell you what we're doing in the locker room," Leonard said.
"It's locker room talk." Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry scored 19 points in the third quarter en route to finishing with 38 points and leading the Warriors to a big comeback win. "Our third quarter was terrible as far as defense," Leonard said.
"Them able to get easy looks, coming down just laying up the ball with no one there. Steph Curry did a few times. "In that third quarter, just guys coming down and getting either open looks or just walking to the basket and laying up the ball."
One of the biggest things coming into this season for the Clippers was to avoid blowing big leads and turning that into a bad habit. "We just gotta dig deep," George said when asked how the Clippers can keep blown leads from becoming a habit.
"That's what it comes down to, we just gotta dig deep as a group, and just rely on our team defense to help each other."