Game 4 Turning Point: Kawhi’s two-way mastery drives Raptors’ breakout

After dealing with the flu, Kawhi Leonard came into Game 4 as a question mark. He erased all doubt midway through the second quarter after making a handful of big plays to bury the Magic. Sullied by a case of the spring flu, Kawhi Leonard struggled offensively in Game 3, notching just 16 points in the Raptors’ five point victory. Upon hearing that he was still under the weather entering Sunday’s game, fans might’ve taken pause. It was an important game to be sure, and the Raptors only escaped Game 3 thanks to the heroic play of Pascal Siakam and his playoff career-high 30 points. If Kawhi wasn’t 100 percent, they’d need a similar performance from Siakam, or anybody else, to carry the offense en route to a potential victory.
That, however, wouldn’t be necessary. Instead, Leonard came out of the gates on a mission, playing aggressively on offense (he attempted four free throws in the opening frame alone) and his usual brand of disruptive defense. But Orlando too came to play, and for a quarter and a half, managed some of the best shot-making they’ve displayed all series.
This led to a tight game for most of the first …

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Author: Joel E Stephens / Raptors HQ

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