This was a classic Texas shootout.

In a showdown between the No.2 and No.3 teams in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs prevailed over the Houston Rockets 112-110. In a clash between MVP candidates Kahwi Leonard and James Harden, the game was highly contested. Leonard and Harden both notched 39 points, but Leonard had the last laugh. With the playoffs approaching quickly, a possible Western Conference Finals preview was electrifying. 

Leonard and Harden went shot for shot in the 4th quarter, having the crowd in a frenzy. Leonard lead all scorers with 17 huge points in the 4th quarter, but none came better in the final seconds. Rolling off a screen, Leonard hit the go-ahead 3 pointer over Néne to put the Spurs up by 2 late. But wait, there’s more.

Harden charged down the floor, head full of steam looking to tie the game. Leonard, Living up to his nickname “The Claw”, took flight in Lebron James fashion for the chase-down block. Cementing the game for the Spurs. Leonard’s mantra has always been his defensive prowess, and he let everyone know why he is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

With the race for the NBA Most Valuable Player, where does Leonard rank? Currently, he’s averaging 26.3 points, 6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. He’s also the defending two-time Defensive Player of the Year. Not to mention, they’re only 2.5 games back of the Golden State Warriors. So should he be a front-runner? He surely made his case tonight.