Monday, 10 December, 2018

Kawhi Leonard Returns As the Raptors Rise to 11-1

Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry leads winning road trip Raptors extend streak to five with win over Kings
Cassandra Castillo | 11 November, 2018, 03:05

With its nine-point win over Sacramento, Toronto closed out its four-game West Coast trip with a ideal record of 4-0 to advance to a league-best 11-1 record on the season.

Leonard, who leads the team in scoring and rebound averages, has played in just seven of the 11 Raptors games so far.

The most dominant victory of the week came against the Los Angeles Lakers, as a Kawhi Leonard-less Raptors squad was lead by a combination of Lowry and Serge Ibaka who combined for a total of 55 points.

"This isn't our ceiling", Leonard told reporters following the game. And Leonard did his part, putting up 25 points, 11 rebounds and two assists in the win. It's hard to put a ton of value into the sample size, given most games haven't been close down the stretch, but you know Nick Nurse would like to see his team finish games as strong as they've begun them.

I would also like to quickly congratulate Lowry on earning the franchise record for consecutive games with 10 or more assists.

"He's leading us to victories, some of it is me - I don't really know the offence in and out yet so with that we have potential", Leonard continued.

"We were lucky to come out with this one", Danny Green said. "You look up and down the line, the only thing we beat them in was rebounding".

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Leonard sat out the previous two games and got off to a sluggish start early against the Kings before helping Toronto pull away. "That's a good sign for us, to show how good this team can be".

Lowry has been the workhorse for the team so far this season on both ends of the floor.

The Kings have lost two straight since winning five in a row.

The Kings will get a big boost, though, as guard Bogdan Bogdanovic is set to make his season debut following an offseason procedure to fix a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Willie Cauley-Stein and Buddy Hield scored 24 points apiece for Sacramento. De'Aaron Fox added 20 points, and second overall draft pick Marvin Bagley III had 13.

Led by Kawhi Leonard, who shot a ideal 9-for-9 from the charity stripe, the Raptors finished the game shooting 21-for-23 from the free throw line, sinking eight more free throws than the Kings. The Athletic's Blake Murphy reports that forward C.J. Miles will miss tonight's game with hip bursitis, while ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier in the day that guard Norman Powell will miss between four and six weeks with a shoulder injury he suffered Monday night against the Jazz.

Following their matchup with the Kings, Toronto will return home to take on the New York Knicks on Saturday.

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