One of the essential characteristics of a true NBA superstar is the ability to take over a game and deliver the goods for your team when they need it most. That is exactly what Kawhi Leonard did for the Spurs, allowing them to prevail over the Memphis Grizzlies, 103-96.
San Antonio Spurs 103 – Memphis Grizzlies 96
Grizzlies were on their way to grinding out a Game 6 win but Leonard, who finished the game with 29 points, put his team on his back and scored six points in just over 30 seconds to turn the tide in their favor at the very end.
Now that the Spurs have dispatched with Memphis 4-2, they move on to face the Houston Rockets. This is a must-watch matchup in the West. It’s a stark contrast in styles and strategies. The Rockets like to push the pace of the game and quickly put up points on the board, while the Spurs have a more deliberate, more defense-oriented approach. Leonard will have his hands full as he will be facing off against fellow MVP candidate, James Harden.
Toronto Raptors 92 – Milwaukee Bucks 89
The Toronto Raptors closed out this series 4-2 but barely. It was touch and go for a while as they squandered a healthy 25-point lead. While the game felt like sand slipping through their grasp, Toronto managed to regroup and hold on for the win. Milwaukee’s heroic attempt at a comeback fell short but was impressive enough to merit the respect from observers and pundits alike.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 32 points on solid shooting but was also a sneaky pickpocket in this game with five steals to his name. He made sure his team would close out the series and avoid a risky Game 7.
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo paced his team with a game-high 34 points and a full stat line, but it was not enough when DeRozan took over in the fourth quarter.
The Raptors may have leaped over their first post-season hurdle but are now faced with the daunting task of upsetting the defending champions, Cleveland Cavaliers. While obviously, all eyes will be on LeBron James, whether or not Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love can make an impact will be a big plot line to follow as this chapter in the NBA Playoffs unfolds.