This is why the Toronto Raptors brought in Kawhi Leonard — he was a beast on both ends Thursday night. Leonard had 33 points on just 22 shots, plus played phenomenal defense all night. Leonard didn’t miss a shot in the third quarter and single-handedly kept his team in the game. He was probably the second best player on the floor in Game 3, behind Joel Embiid.
The rest of the Raptors looked like the playoff Raptors of years past. And after the game they owned it.
Toronto players not named Leonard shot 36.1 percent overall and were 5-of-23 from three. Those players struggled to get stops on defense, while on offense they seemed to make the extra pass looking for the pretty play rather than just getting a good shot up against a long Sixers defense that is rotating very well.
Toronto’s bench was supposed to be an advantage in this series, but…
And those starters were -12 in 20 minutes in Game 3.
What has to be frustrating for Raptors fans is they have seen this movie before — it’s not just the loss, it’s the poor effort in an ugly loss that makes you question just how far this team can really go. Not to mention the implications for what that kind of loss and effort will have on this summer for the team.
Philadelphia is a team finding its stride. If the Raptors don’t find theirs in Game 4 Sunday Toronto will find itself in a hole it may not be able to climb out of.