Game 1 Turning Point: The Kawhi block heard ‘round the world

After a blistering opening frame for the Raptors, Philadelphia’s combined star power was gaining traction. That is until Kawhi Leonard went full monster and put an end to that. Game 1 for the Raptors and 76ers began with both teams scorching the nets — at least for a time. It’s true Philly jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, prompting a Nick Nurse timeout. But afterwards the Raptors’ new dynamic duo of Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard dominated the remaining 45 minutes of the game, a fact made clear by the end of the first quarter with the pair combining for 34 points (an even 17 apiece) on 14-of-18 shooting from the field.
Siakam would go on to pour in 12 more points over the course of the game, turning things over to Leonard, who continued the torrid scoring pace in truly spectacular fashion. Naturally, Philly’s star power reared its stubborn head a few times though, including 15 third-quarter points from sharp-shooter JJ Redick. And that’s why the true turning point of Game 1 came not from a Kawhi bucket, but from a huge block on Tobias Harris, and the ensuing dominance that quickly followed.
Even if you weren’t able to watch last …

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Author: Joel E Stephens / Raptors HQ