— NBA (@NBA) April 18, 2016
In his team's Sunday-night first-round playoff matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies, Leonard denied Griz wing Lance Stephenson the ball to the point of anger.
He also came up with three blocks and four steals to go with 20 points in his the Spurs' 106-74 shellacking of Memphis.
Leonard was the defensive leader of the league's best defense—with the Spurs holding opponents to 92.9 points per game and a league-best defensive rating of 96.6 points per 100 possessions. That rating was 94.9 when the 6'7" small forward was on the floor and more than four points higher—99.2—when he was off.
Leonard is a rare two-time winner as a perimeter player for an award that's typically handed out to centers, who tend to have more defensive responsibility as rim protectors.
Kawhi Leonard is 2nd perimeter player in NBA history to win award in consecutive seasons, joining Sidney Moncrief. pic.twitter.com/gMgbwQo1QC
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 18, 2016
In addition to guarding his opponents' best scorers, Leonard led the Spurs in scoring during the regular season at 21.2 points per game to go with 1.78 steals and 0.99 blocks.
His closest competition for the award was Draymond Green, who finished second to Leonard in 2014-15 as well.
NBA Defensive player of the year voting:
Kawhi Leonard, 547 points
Draymond Green, 421
Hassan Whiteside, 83
DeAndre Jordan, 50
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) April 18, 2016
The 2014 NBA Finals MVP was named to his first All-Star team this season.