Raptors Roll Past Trailblazers as Kawhi Leonard Makes Team Debut
The first bucket of the Toronto Raptors season was scored by none other than Kawhi Leonard.
Of course the script would play out this way.
On Saturday, the Toronto Raptors kicked off their preseason, taking on the Portland Trailblazers on the west coast in British Columbia. Leonard, making his Raptors debut cashed in 12-points, helping his new team take home the win by a score of 122-104.
“I think there were a couple of pretty cool sequences where they found each other in areas, and I think that’s neat,” Nurse said after his first coaching win.
“I think everybody saw Kawhi, he was shaking off some rust, right? But you can obviously see the level that he has and I think he looks like we’re all running around really fast and he gets it and everything goes into slow motion. It’s kind of a gift for guys that are as good as him and it’s neat to watch, too.”
In front of a packed Rogers Arena crowd, eager to watch the superstar’s debut, the Raptors received big help from Jonas Valanciunas, who led the team with 17-points and seven boards and Kyle Lowry, who added 15-points of his own. Pascal Siakam grabbed 13-boards off the bench.
“I think it’s just going to take on-court minutes, getting the experience together, going out there and playing and getting a feel for the overall team, the overall game that he likes to play,” Lowry said. “And the pace. We played at a really good pace tonight. It was a fun game, just good to get out there and compete against another team.”
With their first preseason game out of the way, the Raptors now turn their focus to the Utah Jazz, who they will face on October 2 down in Salt Lake City.