Leonard went into the game a ideal 6-for-6 in the regular season and playoffs against Golden State since the 2014-15 season, averaging 20.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
The 2014 Finals MVP did not back down from any of the challenges presented by Kevin Durant, attacking on offence and making things as hard as he could on the defensive end. But it stoked belief in the idea that the Raptors could make their first NBA Finals and stand in the way of the Dubs repeating as champs.
But two Golden State championships and two Leonard injuries later, and Leonard still has the Warriors' number.
Leonard connected on his first six shots of the game and scored 13 points in the first quarter. Kyle Lowry has established his presence as a playmaker early on as well, dishing out five of his game-high 12 assists in the first 12 minutes of action. So he sat on Golden State's bench in a suit in Toronto, the city where he had played some youth basketball while his father Dell had been a Raptor.
A big game calls for some big style decisions. Not only did Durant pick up where he left off Thursday night, he took things to another level. "(But) we're well aware of who we're playing and who we might see later on and tonight is definitely one of those games". He had 13 points in the opening quarter to help the home team build a 38-25 lead. Durant seemingly had an answer for each run made by the Raptors and kept the Warriors within striking distance despite being shorthanded.
- The Warriors bench, the issues they have and what to expect from this bunch.
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For those still sleeping on the Raptors, or refusing to realize that this isn't the same old Raptor team that's had great regular season success and failed to maximize potential in the playoffs, maybe they have something to learn watching this game?
Toronto's offense came out sharp against the two-time defending champions and it was Leonard leading the charge.
It's nearly to the point where we should just leave the field for Siakam's career-high blank until the season ends because he continues to reach new heights.
As Siakam continues to grow and improve, he is developing into the Raptors' third star, and could very well earn a nod for this year's All-Star Game.
Then Leonard grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and set up Siakam for another trip to the line that iced the game.