West Notes: Clippers, Kawhi Leonard, Warriors, Kings


The Clippers got a critical road win over the Magic on Friday, and despite their struggles lately, sit in fourth place in the Western Conference.Kawhi Leonard, Clippers

But none of that seems to matter to Kawhi Leonard.

“I’m not worried about the playoffs right now,” he told reporters. “We’re just trying to execute what’s in front of us. There are no excuses. We’ve just got to lock in at home and get a win.”

  • Nonetheless, LA showed some of the same signs of trouble after going up 61-50, then needing to hold on for dear life. “We did a great job building an 11-point lead, playing good basketball, and then we just got comfortable, turning the ball over, careless passes … and allowed them to get back in the game,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “But I loved our defense. Overall, a tough, gritty win for us.”


Stephen Curry returned home and it was a success, as the Warriors got a much-needed road win over the Hornets. Curry scored 23.

“At this stage (of my career) I can probably count on one hand how many times I get to come back here,” he told reporters. “It was nice seeing a lot of familiar faces in the crowd. And, it was nice to actually get a win.”

  • The Warriors (39-34) are the 10th seed in the West — but have a similar record as last year. And then, they were sixth. It just goes to show how much better the conference is overall.
  • Golden State has held each of its last three opponents to under 100 points. All three came on the road — at Miami, at Orlando, and at Charlotte.
  • Klay Thompson missed Friday’s game with knee tendinitis. As our Ashish Mathur relayed, the Warriors and Thompson are hopeful of reaching a new deal this offseason, when he becomes a free agent. (Full story.)


  • Reserve guard Malik Monk suffered a sprained right MCL and is expected to miss four-to-six weeks, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. That means Monk very well could be out for a play-in game and/or first-round playoff series. 
  • We have much more on Monk’s injury and the Kings overall right here

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