Knicks defense gets humbled by Kawhi Leonard, Clippers

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Stefan Bondy, New York Daily News
·1 min read
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The Knicks’ defense was humbled by an elite offense.

The Clippers and their star Kawhi Leonard punished the Knicks on Sunday, scoring at will and leaving the Garden with a 129-115 victory.

Leonard dropped 28 points on 15 shots and dominated the fourth quarter. The Clippers (16-5), a bonafide title contender, shot 54% overall and 43% from beyond the arc.

The Knicks (9-12) couldn’t keep up despite another strong performance from Immanuel Quickley, who had 25 points in 27 minutes. He did it while outplaying one of his idols, Lou Williams. Julius Randle added 25 points and 11 boards.

The Knicks entered with one of the league’s top defenses in rating and points allowed per game, but L.A. didn’t require much space to connect on its jumpers. The Clippers pulled away in the final four minutes.

In the second quarter, Quickley told Williams, “You’re one of my favorite players,” and the two embraced. Both came off the bench Sunday and Quickley outscored his former hero, 25 to 9.

Reggie Bullock returned to the lineup after a three-game absence because of a sore neck. The Knicks responded with a strong start for the early afternoon tipoff, a 27-20 advantage after nine minutes. But the Clippers finished stronger.