This test wasn’t quite like matching up with James Harden.
Kawhi Leonard, 25, who recently became a focal point in MVP banter, was delayed to the podium following a 112-110 victory over the Rockets Monday night because he was issued a random drug test, ESPN reports.
The Spurs star, who scored 39 points, reportedly took a bit longer than expected to carry out the test, for he was slightly dehyrdated, ESPN continues.
The NBA’s policy is that it tests players randomly four times each season and twice during the offseason.
Leonard has emerged as one of the top MVP contenders this week, as he continues to produce 30-point nights. While the timing of the drug test may seem related to his explosive play on the court, it is still considered random, and thus unrelated.
In the home game versus Houston, Leonard was matched up against another MVP contender in the famously bearded Harden.
The 27-year-old Rocket also tallied 39 points in 36 minutes, along with 12 assists. He essentially took over the third quarter for the Rockets, though Leonard controlled the game for the Spurs when it counted most in the fourth.
He scored 15 of San Antonio’s final 19 points in the last five minutes.
After the game, the MVP candidate said that he isn’t getting caught up in the Most Valuable Player discussions, saying he’s “just playing basketball.”
Coach Greg Popovich echoed that remark, saying “we don’t talk about MVP awards…”
Leonard is averaging 26.3 points per game along with six rebounds per contest.