TORONTO – Forward Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points, including the game-winning shot with 4.2 seconds remaining, to play a decisive role in the narrow 127-125 win of the Toronto Raptors over the Brooklyn Nets at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.
Leonard also had eight assists while forward Serge Ibaka proved decisive inside the paint along with the newly acquired center Marc Gasol.
Ibaka and Gasol together put up 34 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks which were also key in the Raptors’ victory.
Ibaka continued his good form and put up a double-double of 18 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in 26 minutes of play, going 9-of-13 from the field.
He also captured 10 defensive rebounds inside the paint and had one assist and one steal.
Gasol, who played his second game with the Raptors since being traded last week by the Memphis Grizzlies, was outstanding in the 22 minutes he was on court.
He scored 16 points, going 7-of-9 from the field, including one 3-pointer, and 1-of-2 from the free-throw line.
Gasol also captured six defensive rebounds, made two assists, one steal and one block and lost the ball twice.
Center Pascal Siakam also scored 17 points for the Raptors, who notched their eighth straight win at home against the Nets.
Point guard D’Angelo Russell had a double-double of 28 points and a career-high 14 assists to lead the scoring for the Nets.
Forward Joe Harris added another 24 points and made a career-best seven 3-pointers but could not prevent the Nets from losing their fifth game in the last six they have played.
The Nets gave the ball to Russell on their final possession but his shot bounced off the rim to land into point guard Kyle Lowry’s hands.
Lowry and reserve guard Patrick McCaw scored 13 points each for the Raptors (42-16), which have defeated the Nets in 14 of their last 15 encounters.
Toronto pulled ahead 120-114 with a 3-pointer by Lowry with 2:45 minutes left in the game but forward Allen Crabbe responded with consecutive 3-pointers to tie the score with just over a minute and a half remaining.
Russell broke the tie with a 3-pointer, 50 seconds to the finish, but Danny Green answered with a 3 to level the score again before Leonard made the winning shot.
This is the second straight game that the Raptors have won by a margin of less than eight points.