When Kawhi Leonard arrived in Toronto, nobody could have foreseen what he would have gone on to achieve with the Raptors. However, for the first time since leaving the Canadian side, he was back at the Scotiabank on Wednesday night, and he was awarded his NBA Championship ring.
Leonard was a driving force in the success that they achieved last season, and any risk that he may not have been given a warm welcome were soon dispelled when he arrived at the arena.
There was an emotion video package put together before the game started which had the fans in attendance on their feet for the MVP. And when he walked into the middle of the court to collect his ring, he looked somewhat sheepish with all the attention that he was getting.
Leonard’s Big Night
He was made to feel like a star for good reason. He averaged 26.6 points per game for the Raptors last season, and truly got the whole country to believe that something special may happen when he scored a beater-buzzer to send the Raptors to the conference finals.
That moment was emulated last night before the game, as the lights on the court showed every step that he made before making the shot. It was a classy gesture and one that Leonard clearly approved of. But, as soon as the formalities were over, he was all business.
Clippers Record Another Win
Toronto have been on a bit of a slide over recent weeks and have now lost four of their last five. That is the polar opposite of the run that the Clippers are enjoying as they have won five in six. The Clippers achieved that fifth win with a 112-92 success against the Raptors on Wednesday.
The Clippers were led to victory by Leonard who ended the night with 23 points and six assists. Lou Williams contributed 18 points, while Paul George and Maurice Harkless added 13 and 14 respectively.
Leonard’s new side led by a healthy margin, before the Raptors got within five of them. However, from there, they were able to pull away again and finish with a 20-point advantage.
The home side were led by Pascal Siakam who finished with 24 points and three assists. Norman Powell has been in brilliant form over recent weeks and kept that momentum with another 22 point haul. OG Anunoby added 13 points, while Terence Davis had ten.
There were single digits points tallies for too many of the leading Raptors players to get close to the Clippers, with Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol all finishing with less than ten.
Toronto started as the better of the two teams and were up 32-27 after the opening period. However, they were outscored 14-37 in the second period, which meant they had a mountain to climb in the final period.
The Raptors have a few days to rest before their next game on Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets, while the Clippers are back in action on Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.