The Toronto Raptors overcame a two-game deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals to put the Milwaukee Bucks at the brink of elimination, winning three straight games, including a 105-99 victory on the road on Thursday. Point guard Kyle Lowry praised new teammate Kawhi Leonard, who has been the difference-maker at both ends of the floor.
“The game he played tonight, was a pretty good game.” Lowry said of Leonard, according to ESPN's Tim Bontemps. “It's a pretty good game on the big stage and on the road.”
Leonard finished with a game-high 35 points, seven rebounds, and a playoff career-high nine assists in this recent win, playing the entire fourth quarter and pouring in 15 points in the final period while locking up Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Raptors reportedly did not flinch despite being down 0-2, confidently making adjustments to their game plan and winning their respective games at home before driving that momentum to steal a vital game on the road.
“We have one of the least emotional guys in Kawhi Leonard, but he's emotional when he needs to be,” said Lowry, noting the team borrowed from his even-keeled approach. “We've all kind of just… when our superstar is a guy who stays [level] … he's our guy, he's our superstar.”
“He never gets too up, he never gets too down. He misses games, he didn't play games. And when he didn't play, we went about our business. When he did play, we went about our business. And we just have to go out there and play.”
Leonard, despite fighting through a leg injury and seeing more high minutes than he saw the entire regular season, has been the catalyst of this team that is now on the cusp of an NBA Finals bid, perhaps cementing himself as the downright two-way superstar he once showed flashes of during his 2014 Finals MVP season.