Kawhi Leonard gets destroyed by raucous crowd in San Antonio return

Heather Diaz
January 9, 2019

With the simultaneous occurrences of Kawhi Leonard's return to San Antonio and DeMar DeRozan's first game against his former squad nearing, it seems like all of the NBA's eyes have turned to the two talented point producers.

Leonard and his family were greeted instead with vitriol, starting before the opening tip to well after the game ended.

Popovich and Leonard hugged and had a long discussion after the Spurs' win over the Raptors on Thursday.

During an evening in San Antonio full of boos and heckling every time the former Spur touched the ball, Leonard's mother finally had enough when she heard a bit too much from a certain individual.

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In the second quarter after the Spurs had built a large lead, Leonard was met with chants of "traitor" when he went to the free-throw line. So, I already knew how that was going to be the way the media was'. We all make decisions in our lives about what we're going to do with our futures and he has that same right as any of us.

"I kind of admired his game and told him I'd been watching him and could see he's been getting better and better", Pippen said. "So I felt badly, in all honesty".

Considering how the Warriors were able to take the lead before the final possession, Harden's game-winner was poetic justice. He finished with a team-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting. And he made a bold statement by notching his first career triple-double in his first meeting against the Raptors, with whom he spent his first nine National Basketball Association seasons.

Spurs: DeRozan is the first Spurs player to have at least 15 points 10 rebounds and five assists in a half since Tim Duncan in 2007. The versatile guard made the first triple-double of his career. Gay played 23 minutes to Popovich's surprise, who thought the 13-year veteran would miss the game with a sprained left wrist.

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