Kawhi’s 3rd-quarter outburst deflates Warriors

A stunning display to open the third quarter — Leonard opened the scoring with a 3-pointer over Draymond Green, then stole the ball from Green, dribbled it up and made a second 3-pointer over his outstretched arm — erased that deficit in a span of 16 seconds, and gave Toronto its first lead of the game.

By the time the third was over, Leonard had scored 17 of his 36 points in the quarter, blowing the game open almost single-handedly as the Raptors claimed a 105-92 victory over the Warriors.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Toronto now has a commanding 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven series, and it can claim its first championship with a win back at Scotiabank Arena in Game 5 on Monday night.

“Kawhi Leonard came out and hit two big F-you shots to start the half,” Raptors teammate Fred VanVleet said. “There’s no defense for that. There’s no schemes for that.2

“Two big-boy shots we came out of the half with, two back-to-back 3s … that just kinda let you know how we were gonna approach the third quarter and the rest of the half.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Time and again during these playoffs, Leonard has delivered for Toronto. His efforts in Game 4 in the Eastern Conference semifinals in Philadelphia allowed the Raptors to survive that game, before his incredible series-ending buzzer-beater in Game 7 allowed them to advance. Leonard switching onto Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals swung that series in Toronto’s direction, as the Raptors swept the final four games to advance to their first NBA Finals.

But his performance Friday night — those 36 points on 11-for-22 shooting, including 5-for-9 from 3-point range, to go with 12 rebounds, two assists, four steals, a block and no turnovers in 40 minutes — might have been his very best yet.

Part of that is because of the magnitude of the moment, as the Raptors found themselves staring at a chance to put a stranglehold on this series. And part of it is because of the degree of difficulty with which Leonard was presented. The Warriors, desperate to prevent this from being the final game at Oracle Arena, came out playing suffocating defense in the first quarter, and they quickly jumped out to a 23-12 lead.

But while his teammates combined to go 1-for-13 in the opening 12 minutes, scoring a total of three points, Leonard went 5-for-8 and scored 14 by himself, allowing the Raptors to end the quarter, somehow, trailing only 23-17.