The Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant from the Golden State Warriors gave fans a sneak peak of a potential NBA Finals match up with an overtime thriller.
Despite Kevin Durant scoring 51 points, the Raptors defeated the Warriors 131-128 in overtime. Kawhi Leonard added 37 points for the Raptors (18-4), who have the best record in the NBA.
Throwdown in Toronto
Despite an off night from Kyle Lowry, the Raptors prevailed. His new teammate, Kawhi Leonard, picked up the slack and posted a season-high 37 points.
“We were able to make shots, we were able to get some stops in overtime,” Leonard said. “It’s a building block for us, and I’m happy we got the win.”
Pascal Siakam, the leading candidate for Most Improved Player, added a career-high 26 points. An efficient Siakam shot 8 of 10 from the floor and also contributed a key steal in overtime.
It’s been a big year for scorers in the NBA. So far, we’ve seen the usual cast of characters unleashing big games such as Kemba Walker (60), James Harden (54), Steph Curry (51), and LeBron James (51).
The other night, Damian Lillard from the Portland Trailblazers set a franchise record with ten three pointers, including seven in the third period.
Late in the fourth quarter, a calm and cool Durant hit back-t-back three pointers to erase a six-point deficit. Durant drilled a step-back three pointer to tie the game at 119 and send the game into overtime.
“What a game,” said Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “An incredible basketball game for the fans to watch. We came up just short.”
Durant finished the night with 51 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds. Durant only scored 50 or more points only six times in his career. This marked only his second 50-point game with the Warriors.
The Thursday night overtime between the Raptors and the two-time defending champion Warriors lived up to the hype.
With the Boston Celtics struggling, the Raptors could face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals if they continue their winning ways.
The Philadelphia Sixers got a lot better with the acquisition of Jimmy Butler from the Timberwolves. Butler already made waves with two game winning three pointers within eight days.
The Milwaukee Bucks are making a strong case to represent the East. The Greek Freak gets better and better with every game.
The season passed the quarter-mark and the Raptors are atop of the Eastern conference with a 19-4 record. The Bucks and Sixers are their closest competitor with 15 wins.
In the West that is stacked with dominant teams, the Warriors (15-8) are tied for most wins in the West with the first-place LA Clippers (15-6).
The Warriors played this game without two key starters. Steph Curry, sat out with a groin injury, and Draymond Green missed the game with a sprained toe.
Without Curry and Green, Durant has been on a tear. He scored 40 or more points in his last three games.