Paul George was thrilled to take to the court alongside Kawhi Leonard for the first time as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Boston Celtics 107-104 in overtime.
After injuries to both players postponed their maiden outing together, the wait was ended in Wednesday’s clash with the Celtics in LA.
George put up 25 points and eight assists, while Leonard finished with a 17-point haul that included a dazzling dunk over the towering Daniel Theis.
And George was full of praise for his fellow Spurs star.
“I mean, that’s the Finals MVP, man,” George said of Leonard. “He knows when it’s time to take over.
“He’s been there and he’s won championships with multiple ball clubs, so he knows how to stomp and put that foot on opponents’ neck and that’s what you saw him do tonight.
“It was fun to see what this team can look like on the defensive end, and offensively it was fun to see how we can play off each other.
“The fact of the matter is we are going to have growing pains and I think the most positive thing is we understood that.
“Nobody was pointing fingers or dropping their heads in huddles … at no point was this team ever dysfunctional.”
For his part, Leonard recognises there is room for improvement as the duo bed in alongside each other, with game time the key.
“It’s pretty much just finding each other’s spots and knowing the plays,” Leonard said.
“It’s still tough. We are both kind of on a minute restriction, hard to get into a flow. But just knowing plays and each other’s spots and the language on the defensive end [will help].
“Repetition is what we need right now.”