Clippers star Kawhi Leonard added another chapter to his career highlight reel on Monday night, when he threw down a thunderous one-hand jam and posterized a Jazz defender in the process.
The head-turning play unfolded seemingly out of nowhere late in the second quarter in Game 4 of the Western Conferenc Semifinals, when Leonard, holding the ball, started his dribble at about the three-point line, easily beating his man for a clean run at the basket. Utah's Derrick Favors then slid into the paint to protect the rim, but he was roadkill under the 6-foot-7, 225-pound Leonard, who came soaring through the lane with a full head of steam.
Veteran basketball announcer Ian Eagle, calling the game for TNT, dubbed Leonard's emphatic slam a "major Kawhi-light."
Sixers star Joel Embiid, who had a notably off night in his team's loss to the Hawks on Monday, paused during his postgame questions with reporters after he caught a glimpse of the Leonard play on a nearby monitor.
"Oh my god," Embiid said. "Did you see that Kawhi dunk?"
The famously low-key Leonard, for his part, said he was unaware of the buzz over the play until after the game, citing his "next play" mentality. In fact, he was peeved that the Jazz came back and made a 3-pointer on their ensuing possession.
For some players on the court, the pictures told the full story.
On social media, players, journalists and fans alike were in awe.