Round 2 Game 1 Rap
It was over when… the Sixers subbed out their starters with 4:17 remaining and the Raptors leading by 20 points. Toronto would go on to collect a 108-95 victory behind a 45-point performance from Kawhi Leonard to take a 1-0 series lead.
All offence early: The Raptors got off to a great start against the Sixers in Game 1 thanks to huge first quarter efforts from Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam on Saturday. Leonard and Siakam each scored 17 points in the opening quarter, both shooting 7-for-9 from the floor as the Raptors led 39-31 after the first 12 minutes of the game.
Keeping pace: Things were closer in the second, with both teams cooling off after that blistering first quarter, but the Raptors kept the distance behind a 10-point effort from Kawhi Leonard, and five more points from Pascal Siakam. Toronto took a 61-52 lead into the halftime break after shooting 57 percent in the first half. Siakam scored 22 in the half and Leonard led all scorers with 27 points.
Holding steady: The Raptors found their shooting stroke again in the third, shooting 61 percent in the quarter while holding Philadelphia to 45 percent shooting. JJ Redick kept the Sixers close, scoring 15 points in the quarter, including 5-of-7 three-pointers. Toronto was again led by Kawhi Leonard who scored nine points in the quarter to help the Raptors head into the fourth leading 92-81.
Closing time: Toronto opened the final quarter on a 15-6 run to extend the lead to 20 points — its largest lead of the game. With 4:10 remaining, Philadelphia subbed out their starters. About a minute later, the Raptors did the same and Kawhi Leonard walked to the bench to an MVP chant and wild cheers after a career-best postseason scoring effort.
Raptors player of the game: Kawhi Leonard was all but unstoppable, scoring a playoff career-high 45 points to go with 11 rebounds in 38 minutes. He also had two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. He shot 16-for-23 from the floor, including 3-for-7 from beyond the arc and 10-for-11 from the free-throw line.
Underrated Raptors player(s) of the game: Pascal Siakam scored 29 points in 35 minutes in Game 1, shooting 12-for-15 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from three. He added seven rebounds, and an assist. Marc Gasol finished with a modest stat-line of eight points, two rebounds and four assists, but he also was a team-best +29 in his 26 minutes thanks to a solid defensive effort.
That’s a rap…
“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but that was pretty cool to watch tonight.” - Raptors head coach Nick Nurse on Kawhi Leonard’s Game 1 performance
By the #’s…
39… Percent shooting for the Sixers, compared to 52 percent shooting for the Raptors.
6… Blocked shots for the Raptors, two for Philadelphia. Serge Ibaka had two blocks to lead the Raptors as five players recorded a blocked shot for Toronto.
13… Offensive rebounds for the Sixers, compared to just two for the Raptors.
10…Turnovers for Toronto, leading to 15 points scored by Philadelphia. In comparison, the Sixers turned the ball over 16 points, leading to 22 points for the Raptors.
20…Toronto’s largest lead in the game.
They said it…
“It’s great when you do it and you can win, but my focus is every game, trying to win the ball game. That’s why we’re playing these games. We’re not playing so I can score 50 or get 40 points. We’re all on this team and trying to say Raptors win at the end of the day.” - Kawhi Leonard summing up his 45-point performance
“He's a spectacular player and he had a spectacular night and he hit some spectacular shots. I said this morning, he's a superstar. He's as good as there is in the NBA at generating his own shot and making tough shots.” - JJ Redick on Kawhi Leonard’s night
"There's never enough nice things to say about a guy that you really appreciate and that you care for. He’s just unbelievable. He's just growing, man. The talent is there. He's just fantastically understanding how to play and his confidence level just keeps getting bigger and bigger.” - Kyle Lowry on the continued growth of Pascal Siakam’s game
Up next: Game 2 will be played at Scotiabank Arena on Monday, Apr. 29 at 8 P.M. ET