Leonard Scores for the Win as Gasol Debuts for the Raptors

Marc Gasol debuted for the Raptors on Monday in the game against the Brooklyn Nets. The spectators at Scotiabank Arena witnessed a thrilling game, whose winner was decided in the dying moments. In the end, Toronto grabbed a 127-125 win, with Kawhi Leonard leading his team to a victory with a game-high 30 points, while the former San Antonio small forward scored for the win 4.2 seconds before the buzzer.

Leonard’s recent performances weren’t at a level of a player of his calibre, but he showed the courage when it mattered the most. Speaking after the game, Toronto head coach Nick Nurse Leonard needed to get a little more engaged and motivated.

It was an exciting duel in Toronto, and with the results tied 125-125 seconds before the end, it looked like the game could go into overtime. Leonard was the Raptors’ hero, in the end, scoring off the backboard for the team’s 42nd win this season. In addition to 30 points, Leonard had 2 rebounds and 8 assists.

Kawhi Leonard

Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard celebrates after scoring against the Brooklyn Nets during the Raptors’ win on Friday – Frank Gunn/Canadian Press

Ibaka had a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Siakam scored 17 points, while Marc Gasol, who spent only 22 minutes in play, had 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. Not bad for his first match for the Raptors.

An Exciting Game from the Beginning till the End

Toronto struggled in the first quarter, which was won by the Nets 29-21, while the situation changed in the second quarter. The Raptors were eight points behind at one point (34-42), the Raptors went on a 10-2 run, and at the half time they chipped away at Brooklyn’s lead, trailing 60-56 at the end of the second quarter. At the end of the third quarter, the result was tied 92-92, with both teams being evenly matched till the very end.

Marc Gasol scored 11 points in the game’s last quarter, along with a couple of assists and important defensive stops. The Spanish centre said after the game that he had felt like a rookie again when hearing the ovation from the home crowd.

D’Angelo Russel was the best Nets’ player on the court, scoring 28 points, along with 14 assists. Joe Harris (24) and Allen Crabbe (22) were the only other players to score more than 20 points.

This is the Raptors’ 14th win against the Nets in the last 3 years, while the team from Toronto only lost 1 game during that period.

The Raptors set another record. As their 42nd victory is the franchise high for the most win before the NBA All-Star Game. This year, the NBA All-Star Game will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday, February 18, 2019.

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