Spurs blast Raptors as Kawhi returns to San Antonio

Spurs blast Raptors as Kawhi returns to San Antonio

Spurs blast Raptors as Kawhi returns to San Antonio

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hopes Kawhi Leonard will be shown respect on Thursday (Friday in Manila) when he returns to face his former club in Texas for the first time since his acrimonious departure. They have won three of their last four matches and in their last game they won at home against the Jazz with a 122-116 score, beating the odds.

The same thing happened during introductions, as Spurs fans gave Green a standing ovation and then ramped up the boos for Leonard.

Prior to halftime, DeRozan did a ton of damage, scoring 19 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out five assists.

DeRozan finished with 21 points, 14 boards and 11 assists in the Spurs' 125-107 win over Toronto on Thursday in a contest that was never in doubt from the get-go.

Leonard requested a trade in June amidst reports of tension between his representatives and the Spurs' front office.

DeRozan was met with "MVP" chants earlier in the game when he went to the line.

Green, meanwhile, expressed optimism that both he and Leonard experience a positive reception in their returns to the AT&T Center.

With the win, the Spurs move to 11-3 since December 6 while the Raptors are 7-7 in their last 14 games.

Despite leading the Spurs to an National Basketball Association championship in 2014, many fans in the Alamo City are still upset that he wanted out of town.

Toronto has faced tough competition all while dealing with various injuries to key players.

While other reserves have stepped up, the absence of the aforementioned two has impacted the team's ability to execute as well as its overall sharpness. Leonard was cleared by team doctors to play before San Antonio's playoff run but chose to sit out after receiving advice from his personal doctors. It kind of fuels you, kind of gets you going. San Antonio is one of the league's best 3-point shooting teams but is very selective as the shooting comes at a low volume. "Who raised you? God got us!"

Green came to Toronto with Leonard in the trade for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick last July, but it's unlikely he'll receive the same vitriol as Leonard.

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