Kawhi Leonard proved yet again that he is not the man to invite to landmark events. Following his, and the Toronto Raptors, victory over the Golden State Warriors last season, and crucially a win in the final game at Oracle Arena, Leonard once again rose to the occasion in a very big way on Thursday night to give his new Los Angeles Clippers team a 2-0 record on the new season. Playing at the new Chase Center, he would help lead them to a romping 141-122 win over the now-depleted Warriors thanks to putting up 21 points and nine rebounds. Lou Williams led the Clips with 22 points, while Steph Curry had 23 in the loss in what could be a long year. Elsewhere, the Milwaukee Bucks began their season with a win over the Houston Rockets. Giannis Antetokounmpo went berserk, scoring 30 points, dishing out 11 assists, and rebounding 13 times in an impressive triple-double display. The 117-111 win in Houston was his 15th career triple-double, but it was not enough on its own to see them win as he fouled out. However, the rest of the squad picked up the slack and took them to the win, putting them at 1-0 on the new season.
Thursday Night Football didn’t offer up a doozy this week, but it was still a game nonetheless. In the end, Kirk Cousins got revenge on his old team, the Washington Redskins, helping lead the Minnesota Vikings to a 19-9 win that took them to a 6-2 record on the season. Cousins had 285 yards passing on 23-26, but it was running back Dalvin Cook that really showed out on the evening. He had 171 yards- and the game’s only touchdown- total, with 98 coming on the ground. Apart from his TD, all of the other points were scored by field goals, showing that it was far from the prettiest game played.
The MLS Playoff Conference Finals are now set after Thursday night, a night in which the league’s brightest stars shone brightly. In the nightcap, the overall #1 seed, LAFC, welcomed the LA Galaxy for the ‘El Trafico’ derby. It did not disappoint, either, with Carlos Vela and co. finally getting one over on Zlatan and his team. Vela scored twice in a pulsating 5-3 win to give LAFC its first ever win over their inner-city rivals. Zlatan did score and equalizing goal to make it 2-2 in the 55th minute, but LAFC kept at it and eventually blew the doors down. Across the country in the opener of the night, Atlanta United, the defending champions, kept up their hopes of a repeat thanks to a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union. Julian Gressel and Josef Martinez scored fantastic goals to give them a date with Toronto FC in Atlanta on Wednesday. LAFC will host the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday night.