Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard leaves the game due to an elbow to the face by teammate Serge Ibaka, causing him to bleed.
The Los Angeles Clippers squared off against their 2020 WCSF opponents in the last game on the Christmas Day schedule. The Clippers exacted revenge on the Nuggets as they blew them out, 121-108.
The Clips were in the driver’s seat for the entirety of this game, as the only time the Nuggets led was in the first quarter when the score was 12-10.
Paul George’s hot shooting from opening night carried onto this game as he finished with 23 points while going 8-14 from the field. Kawhi Leonard was right behind PG13 as he finished the game off with 21 points.
Kawhi could’ve probably gone for more but unfortunately for him, he suffered an injury in the last few minutes of the 4th quarter. This forced him to leave the game and return to the locker room.
Serge Ibaka elbows Kawhi Leonard in the face.
The Clippers led by as much 24 points in this game. However, due to heroics from Jamal Murray early in the 4th, the Nuggets chipped away at the lead, and brought it back to an 11 point game.
Mid-way through the 4th quarter, Patrick Beverley missed a 3 point shot. In an attempt to go for the offensive rebound, both Serge and Kawhi jumped to grab the ball.
Serge ended up elbowing Leonard in the face quite hard as the 2x Finals MVP was seen with blood gushing from his mouth.
Kawhi left for the locker room after colliding with Ibaka. pic.twitter.com/ohYrUtStW5
— ESPN (@espn) December 26, 2020
Though it clear that Ibaka’s elbow did in fact make contact with Kawhi, its severity wasn’t quite highlighted. However, a newer angle of the elbow has surfaced.
Not sure I’ve ever seen a face move like this. I hope Kawhi is okay. pic.twitter.com/3QLI8vLAMZ
— Cam (@ItsCam) December 26, 2020
It is quite clear through the facial contortions that Leonard made, that this was most definitely a hard elbow to the chin. It is now understandable that this injury warranted 8 total stitches for Kawhi, as he was diagnosed with a facial laceration
NBA Twitter reacts to the Kawhi Leonard injury.
Most fans hopped onto social media to send their prayers to Kawhi, hoping that he was alright. However, knowing Twitter, there were obviously some who tried to make light of the situation.
Many claimed that Serge was still mad at Kawhi for leaving Toronto in 2019. Others compared Kawhi’s injury to his former teammate Fred VanVleet’s injury in the 2019 NBA Finals.
Leonard’s status for the Clippers game vs. the Mavericks on Sunday is still up in the air.