Leonard scored at will from the opening jump, and finished with a hilariously efficient 37 points in just 33 minutes, as the Raptors won a game they had to have over the Orlando Magic by a score of 111-82 and evened the first-round playoff series at 1-1. Of course, Toronto lost which means, of course, that Lowry's poor shooting night, the team's struggles to contain Augustin, and Gasol's miscommunication with Kawhi Leonard on the final play of the game are the primary talking points. "We did a great job of executing the game plan for the get go and we played with good energy". "At this point in the season, you do whatever you need to do, whether it's 3-0 or 0-2 or 2-1, 3-1, whatever it is".
Clifford has spent his sessions with the media telling them all the bad signs that were raised in Game 1. The team was winning a pile of games, which gave them the luxury of keeping him tucked away, like the good Scotch you only get out for the neighbours you quite like.
Orlando coach Steve Clifford said Lowry was a handful for his team, whether he was scoring or not. He had some wide-open looks - it would've been a really good game, probably. "Basically just making sure that we just play hard".
But what does a look back at Lowry's game twos tell us about the chances for a Lowry bounce back this year? User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. He's the one who starts their transition, all those advance passes up the court to [Pascal] Siakam, that's all him, and he took seven shots and didn't make them. The Raptors have an elite player on their team in Leonard and an emerging superstar in Siakam. He made 14 baskets in that game. His impact on the game was terrific for them.
"Just playing within the offense", Leonard said. Teams that drop the first two games at home in the National Basketball Association playoffs go on to lose the series about 85% of the time, and for the Raptors franchise they are 0-7 in series in which they dropped into an 0-2 hole.
Leonard, who'd been expected to crank his game up a notch when the playoffs tipped off, was brilliant on Tuesday, drawing delighted gasps from the sold-out Scotiabank Arena crowd of 19,964, and when he drew a foul for a three-point play in a third quarter in which he mercilessly punished the Magic, the crowd chanted "M-V-P!" The Raptors outscored the Magic 57-43 in those frames.
Things blew open in the third quarter, where he dominated with 17 more points, scoring in a number of ways to help the Raptors get out to a 24-point lead to go into the final frame.
Nurse said the 33 minutes wasn't by design.
"Going back and watching the film, I wasn't as aggressive as I could've been and tonight was a little bit different - being more aggressive and more assertive".
Now, let's sit back and see what they do in game two.
The Magic, who matched Toronto's 22-9 record down the stretch to make the playoffs, are expecting the Raptors to come out swinging on Tuesday. He has hoisted up fewer shots and made only a handful more, going 20 for 56 in the second game of the series (37 percent from the field). "We're going to see their best, I assume, so we have to prepare for it". But just how rowdy and raucous will it be Friday night for Game 3 at Amway Center, where the Magic have won nine straight and haven't lost since February 22?