----- Kawhi Leonard scores 38 points as the Toronto Raptors edge the Portland Trail Blazers 119-117 Friday night at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, CA.
It would have been easy for the Trail Blazers to take it easy in Toronto on Friday night after four-straight wins to start the road trip, but Portland battled back from a 16-point third quarter deficit showing a lot of grit in a 119-117 loss to the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena.
The Blazers trailed 90-74 with 3:31 left in the third quarter before ripping off a 31-13 run taking a 105-103 lead after two free throws by Jusuf Nurkic with 3:04 to play in the game. The final three minutes of the game was a back and forth affair with big shots coming from both teams.
Damian Lillard sank three-straight free throws to tie the game at 117 after being fouled on a three-point attempt by Kyle Lowry with 13.8 seconds on the clock. Kawhi Leonard responded by hitting a baseline jumper with 1.5 seconds on the clock to win the game for the Raptors.
"We just stayed with it," Damian Lillard said. "I thought we were physical defensively. We stuck with it and gave ourselves a chance to win it."
CJ McCollum scored a team-high 35 points connecting on 7-for-11 from three-point range. It was McCollum's offense that kept the Blazers within striking distance until they got the offense cranked up in the fourth. Lillard finished with 24 points and added eight rebounds and six assists and Jake Layman added 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Kawhi Leonard led Toronto (46-17) with 38 points and Marc Gasol added 19 points, eight boards, and six assists. Kyle Lowry made some big shots late in the game. Lowry finished the game with 19 points and 10 assists.
Up Next- The Trail Blazers will travel to Charlotte to meet the Hornets on Sunday. The game is scheduled to tip off at 10:00 AM.
Chad's Take- Love the fight Portland showed tonight. They didn't win the game, but this team is much improved and playing their best basketball when it matters most.