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GIF Breakdown: San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers

The return of Kawhi Leonard was better than most fans could have imagined as he sparked the team into their best performance of the year and the Spurs dominated the Blazers like it was May again.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Boris Diaw only scored five points on five shots on Friday night but he filled up the box with six boards, four assists, a steal and two blocks. Here's one of those blocks as Boris uses his surprising athleticism to put the kibosh on C.J. McCollum's attempt in transition.

bobo block

A quick bounce pass from Duncan through the paint finds Kawhi wide open after he makes Nicolas Batum look lost with a spin and cut to the hoop. Great pass, nice dunk, Spurs win and everything is fine.

tim whi

Manu Ginobili drives into the lane and draws the attention of LaMarcus Aldridge before kicking the ball way out to Boris Diaw at the top of the arc. The French big makes a nice touch pass to Tim Duncan, who finds that the only thing between him and a bucket is a mismatched Batum as Aldridge is slow to get back into the play. Tim's going to score 95% of the time if Batum is stuck guarding him one-on-one and he makes it look easy with an aggressive one-dribble drive before putting his body into Nic to create separation and get the points.


Kawhi played with as much confidence on the offensive side of the ball as I've ever seen on Friday night. His court vision has really improved, his tempo is controlled but purposeful and his passing is tight. That helped Kawhi rack up five dimes to go with his 20 points, four boards and three steals. Here, LMA has to help Wes Matthews with Kawhi with Leonard's solid back-to-the-basket game threatening points and that leaves Tiago Splitter free to drive through the lane. Kawhi shows good patience waiting for the lane to clear before feeding the big man for an easy bucket.


Nic Batum takes himself out of this play as he elects to throw his body to the ground instead of playing Danny Green honestly. Green's way too great of a shooter and after Batum fails to garner a whistle, the sharpshooting Spur cans a deep ball to make the Blazers pay. Notice Duncan ready to set a screen on Batum in case he decided to, you know, hustle back into the play.

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This time it's Wes Matthews' turn to try to flop his way to a call from the officials as Kawhi attacks the Blazers. No help from the refs comes and Leonard spins his way deep into the paint before drawing the attention of both Portland bigs as he finds Aron Baynes for the reverse. Awesome stuff from our young stud.

whi baynes

One more from Leonard as he gets the ball at the top of the arc and wastes no time attacking Batum, beating him and then taking the swipe from Aldridge as he converts the hoop and draws the foul. It's so great to have The Hand back.

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Let's end this edition of GIF Breakdown with a rare alley-oop from the Spurs. Okay, it's a alley-oop layup, but we'll take what we can get. Duncan finds a cutting Kawhi for a layup to put the Spurs up 23.

duncan whi

See you Pounders after the Spurs host, and hopefully defeat, the Utah Jazz on Sunday night.