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Gutsy Game 3 proves Raptors, Kawhi Leonard willing to put it all on the line

2 20 0
21.05.2019

TORONTO — They gave everything. They have been giving everything. Kawhi Leonard gave more than anyone when his teammates needed him most.

But he is not alone on a Toronto Raptors team that is finding its identity on the fly, digging deep for teammates that were strangers even a few months ago as they try to keep a grip on the Eastern Conference Finals while down to the Milwaukee Bucks, 2-1.

Go down the list:

Kyle Lowry’s sprained, heavily-wrapped left thumb would have kept the Raptors high-revving engine out for weeks, based on the timeline of the team’s cascade of other thumb injuries this season. He never missed a minute.

Pascal Siakam played through a badly bruised calf and tightened hamstring that stemmed from his ill-advised kick of Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid in the second round. If anything, he played more — he’s averaging 37 minutes a game in the post-season. A year ago he was playing 18.

Marc Gasol is 34 years old and was cruising along playing 25 minutes a night when he arrived in Toronto in early February. He’s now absorbing minutes through his pores, banging with Embiid and now wrestling with Brook Lopez while finding the legs to slide over and help on arguably the most athletic player in the world in the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo. He played his best game as a Raptor in 45 minutes during Toronto’s double-overtime win in Game 3.

Danny Green? He turns 32 next month, battled with injuries all last year, had off-season surgery and now played 95 of a possible 97 games as a Raptor. Tired legs make for wayward jump shots, and the same person who shot a career-best 45.5 per cent from deep on 5.5 attempts a game during the regular season is shooting 26 per cent from deep over his past five games.

And then there’s Leonard. His entire........

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