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Kawhi Leonard Responds On If Clippers "Choked" In Game 6: 'We Just Went Cold."

(via ESPN.com)

(via ESPN.com)

After surmounting a 16 point lead in the first half, the Clippers were just 24 minutes away from a trip to the Conference Finals.

With Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and a head coach with Championship experience, nobody expected L.A. to be forced into playing a Game 7, especially against an inferior Nuggets team.

Yet, after a complete collapse in the second half, that's exactly what happened. Led by a 34-point, 14 rebound performance by Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets once again find themselves just one win away from coming back down 1-3 in a series. This time, if they complete the comeback, it would mean an appearance in the Western Conference Finals.

For the Clippers, many have expressed disappointment that a team so talented is so close to blowing a series they once had in the bag. After the game, when presented with the notion that the Clippers choked, Kawhi Leonard offered up his own explanation:

“We just went cold,” Leonard responded. “Went cold in that 3rd quarter. That’s it. Kept getting to the paint, passing the ball. Got a little stagnant. Just couldn’t make shots.”

The Clippers shot just 41% on the game with their two stars going 17/39 from the field. So, there is truth to Kahwi's claim and had L.A. not gone so cold in the second half, things might be completely different.

But it has always been their defense which has separated them from the rest. With perhaps the biggest collection of capable defenders in the entire league, the community has spent all season harping on their ability on that end of the floor. If it's as good as we've all been lead to believe, it should have been enough to get the win tonight, when their offense was struggling.

Nevertheless, there are no changing things now. With Game 7 scheduled for Tuesday, L.A. will have another chance o make things right and live up to the expectations placed on them from day one.