Kawhi Leonard delivers surprise verdict after Raptors beat Warriors

Kawhi Leonard delivers surprise verdict after Raptors beat Warriors

Kawhi Leonard delivers surprise verdict after Raptors beat Warriors

The two-time NBA MVP hasn't played since the November 8, but is expected to return Saturday in Detroit.

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.

Kawhi Leonard's Raptors got the best of Kevin Durant's Warriors in an epic battle of two of the NBA's best.

But the team made a decision to proceed with caution in the early going of the season. That was thanks in large part to near-perfect shooting from Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka, who went a combined 13-for-13 until Leonard missed a three at the three-minute mark. But with Leonard in Toronto now, Golden State has reason to be concerned.

A big game calls for some big style decisions.

The Warriors' superstar forward entered the night fresh off of back-to-back 40-point performances in wins over the Kings and Magic.

Steph Curry. Image Getty Images
Steph Curry. Image Getty Images

The take over began in the third quarter, where Durant scored 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting, pulling up from the Raptors half-court logo to close the quarter.

Durant finished the night with 51 points on 18-for-31 shooting from the field and 4-for-7 shooting from 3-point range, including two extremely hard 3-pointers at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime.

You should watch this game because regardless of who's playing or who's not playing, its going to be a good game - not because it's going to teach you something about what may happen if these two teams happen to meet in June.

- The Warriors bench, the issues they have and what to expect from this bunch. But the Raptors clawed their way back and when Green drilled a three-pointer with 4:42 to play, it capped an 8-0 run that put Toronto back up by 10, prompting a deafening roar from the Scotiabank Arena crowd that included Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock, Drake, and UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.

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? Withstanding runs and remaining poised in high-pressure situations is crucial, and the Raptors did enough of that to win Thursday night. We are taking care of this now!

- Andre Iguodala's offensive struggles. Leonard had last faced the Warriors in Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference finals, when he injured his ankle and left the floor with his San Antonio Spurs ahead by 21 points.

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