Kawhi Leonard's "extra-long middle finger" was the curious focus of team-mate Paul George's praise after the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Denver Nuggets to restore their series lead in the NBA playoffs on Monday.
The Clippers sealed a 113-107 triumph that was helped in no small part by a stunning block from Leonard, who thwarted a fourth-quarter dunk attempt from Jamal Murray with just one finger.
Murray drove for the basket and seemed certain to cut the deficit to four points, only for Leonard's outstretched digit to deny him.
And George, whose 32 points helped move his side 2-1 up in the Western Conference semi-finals, was in awe.
"That's an extra-long middle finger," he said. "Like it kept growing or something. That's Kawhi, man."
Clippers coach Doc Rivers was similarly impressed following a game in which Leonard posted a double-double of 23 points and 14 rebounds.
"That play by Kawhi was amazing," he said.
"I didn't know it was with one finger. I thought he just blocked it, but it was impressive. I didn't even know where he came from."
While everyone else seemed to be falling over themselves to find superlatives to describe his play, Leonard was a little less dramatic in his retelling of events.
"I just saw him penetrating, so I stepped up and tried to contest his shot," he explained.
The two-time NBA finals MVP now wants the Clippers to be more dominant in Game 4 to alleviate some of the pressure on the defense.
"I think we need to be consistent throughout the whole 48 minutes, but you got to give Denver credit," Leonard said.
"They are a good basketball team, they have been together for a while, they know how to make adjustments on the fly, they've got a good coach, it's playoff basketball. But for us, we definitely want to see it throughout."Published 08 Sep 2020, 14:02 IST