Initially, Lowry missed his first free throw of the game, and maybe you were anxious. Or take away the absurd, final-millisecond-of-the-shot-clock, hand-in-his-face, fading-away three D.J. Augustin hit late in the first quarter, and put his foot on the line for another.
Leonard cranked his game into another gear, scoring 17 of his 37 points in the third quarter, while Lowry added 22 points to bounce back from a scoreless performance in Game 1, as the Toronto Raptors throttled the Orlando Magic 111-82 on Tuesday.
Lowry, who missed all seven attempts in Game 1, shot 8 for 13 and led his team with seven assists. Saturday's game was extremely competitive.
A large part of that is due to the fact they have faced a LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers in the last two postseasons. Not only has Gasol entirely swallowed up Vucevic in the post, but Gasol was also able to show higher and cut off Augustin while also denying the pocket pass to Vucevic.
"It's happened before", Lowry said. "He played well, he adjusted well".
But there are times when you just have to pull the cork out of that sucker and get out some highball glasses.
"A lot of times your best player exhausted is going to be better than the guy backing him up fresh and that's the reality of the playoffs", Clifford said.
Two things about that.
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The series shifts to Orlando for Games 3 and 4, on Friday and Sunday respectively.
In the two playoff games so far, Gordon has guarded Kawhi on 84 possessions and given up a total of 36 points. That's an easy fix going forward. "He's a pro. That's what pros do, they know it's just one game and they come in the next game ready to play". With Siakam as his primary defender, Isaac finished the game minus-10, the lowest on his team by a mile. "He's a problem on both ends of the floor".
So, what was the difference between Saturday and the times Siakam struggled against Orlando during the regular season? "I think at that point we were off to a good start and we were imposing our will on the game and I figured I'd roll the dice so our will could continue to be imposed", Nurse said. "I don't see that happening again".
Led by a monster performance from Kawhi Leonard, the Toronto Raptors not only bounced back in their series with the Orlando Magic, but they looked like a playoff contender to fear. There's still things I feel like I can attack better. Orlando hasn't had any strategic counters but they need to get him going and the solution is going to be more complicated than Vucevic just "playing better".
The image of Kawhi Leonard coming out of the game to a standing ovation and the camera panning to Masai Ujiri looking like a mob boss is an all-timer, by the way.
What followed was a a three-day waiting period in which the Raptors - Nick Nurse and Kyle Lowry in particular - absorbed body blows from every critic in the media, and that seemed to finally wake them up. "He played it pretty well".
"Their defence was really good", he said. "But he did a nice job of getting it where he wanted to go with some physicality, moving it around their length, and finishing". If he'd hit two, the narrative around this team, this series, would be completely different today. But Leonard wasn't acquired for the regular season - he was acquired to be the kind of destroyer of worlds that had the Raptors go from a punchline every postseason to a team that could win a championship. Offence comes and goes, shooting can be erratic. Not good enough, said Pascal Siakam: "I think we can score more". "We've got to bounce back".