Kawhi Leonard led the Toronto Raptors into the NBA finals for the first time in team history with a 100-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night.
Leonard scored 27 points, seven in the fourth quarter and finished with a career-best 17 rebounds and seven assists to lead his team to victory. Leonard said, “It’s still surreal to me right now. But this is what we’ve been striving for all season. It’s not over yet.”
Raptors guard Norman Powell said, “The one thing Kawhi really stressed to us was just to enjoy it. Don’t get too out of character, just enjoy the moment and continue to go out there and just lay it on the floor. So it was an amazing feeling just to be able to battle and chip away at it…It’s how you make history.”
Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “He inspired us tonight with monster rebounds,” He continued, “It wasn’t going well for us, it was kind of a frustrating night. But we kept playing.”
Pascal Siakam scored 18 points, Kyle Lowry scored 17, and Fred VanVleet scores 14 for the Raptors, who were able to turn the game around and reach the championship round. The team thanks Leonard for that. “He’s the best player in the league, and we’re happy he’s in Toronto,” said Masai Ujiri, the Raptors’ president.
The Toronto Raptors will host the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the N.B.A. finals on Thursday night.