Kawhi Leonard‘s domination of Philadelphia continued Tuesday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semis, giving the Raptors a 3-2 series lead with a 125-89 blowout.
Leonard, who finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds, says he is “just in a moment having fun.”
Joel Embiid and the Sixers, meanwhile, head back home with their season on the line and no easy answers.
“The way we played tonight — I’d love to play like this every night,” Leonard told ESPN.com. “I’m pretty sure everyone else feels the same way. They all want to contribute. There are not guys on this team who just want to sit back and relax and watch either me or Kyle [Lowry] or Pascal [Siakam] just being great. Everyone wants to play great.”
Coming into Game 5, Leonard had scored 38.8 percent of the Raptors’ points in this series — far and away a larger share than any other individual player in the conference semifinals (Kevin Durant and James Harden are next, at 32 percent).
“We needed this type of game where everyone played well,” Lowry said. “I don’t think we had a game like this in a while. We’ve still got another level that I think we can play at offensively and defensively. But it was a good team win.”
Leonard is well aware of the scoring load he has assumed for the Raptors, but he rejects the notion that it is accompanied by any undue pressure.
“All of life is pressure, but at this time, I’m having fun,” Leonard told ESPN.com. “I’ve been in the tough battles, played the greatest teams, been to the Finals. I’m just in a moment having fun. I think that’s what you’ve got to do. I’ve got to enjoy this, enjoy this NBA. I don’t want to look back and say, ‘Damn. I was too stressed or too locked in to have fun and play the game I’ve got to play.’ That’s what I’ve learned from my past, and that’s what I take in every game: just going out there and having fun but competing my ass off and leaving it all out there to try to win a game.”