The Toronto Raptors hold down the second spot in the East fairly comfortably right now, entering Monday’s action tied in the win column with the Bucks and two back in the loss column at 41-16.
Still, things haven’t been quite as good for the Raptors of late as they were during their torrid start to the season, and at home on Monday they found themselves in a dog fight with the Nets — who seemingly are in a tight game every night. Brooklyn stormed back down the stretch to take a late lead thanks to a D’Angelo Russell three, as they were on fire as a team from distance on the night, hitting 20-of-41 attempts from deep.
Danny Green had the answer on the other end to tie the game, and when Joe Harris left a wide open midrange jumper short, everyone knew who was going to hunt for the game-winner. Kawhi Leonard dribbled the clock down inside 10 seconds before he made his move, finding his favorite spot on the right elbow for a smooth bank shot to give Toronto a two-point lead.
Leonard, who finished with 30 points and eight assists, calmly found his way to the part of the floor he wanted to go to and, while he did go a little early, he also gave the Raptors a chance for a second shot had he missed and they grabbed an offensive board.
On the other end, the Nets had one more inbounds play to find a tying or winning bucket of their own. Joe Harris, who was 7-of-8 from three on the night, threw it in to D’Angelo Russell who was unable to shake free of Danny Green’s great closeout and missed a desperation heave off the rim.