NBA Finals

NBA Finals 2019: "He played amazing" - Stephen Curry on Kawhi Leonard's sensational Game 4 performance

Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard
(NBA Getty Images)

In Game 3, Stephen Curry put his name alongside other greats of the game with a 47-point outing but he couldn't lead the Golden State Warriors to a win.

A couple of days later, Kawhi Leonard, although not scoring as many as Curry, put on a show in Game 4.

In 41 minutes of action, he finished with 36 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, and two assists on 11-of-22 shooting. He also continued his near-perfect free-throw shooting in the Finals by sinking all of his nine attempts from the charity stripe.

More importantly, he scored in a hurry when the team needed it the most.

The non-Leonard Raptors struggled to knock down shots in the first quarter but Leonard kept them afloat, scoring 14 of the team's 17 first-quarter points.

Then, once again, when the Raptors outscored the Warriors 37-21 in the third quarter, he poured in 17 during that period.

"I mean, [Kawhi Leonard] played amazing," Stephen Curry said in the postgame press conference. "He hit every big shot, momentum shot that in that third quarter, it gave them the lead. And then kept the separation."

Raptors' head coach Nick Nurse, speaking about Leonard, had a similar point to make.

"Well, obviously he's playing great and he's lifted us a lot of times with big buckets or runs of buckets or just that settling bucket when the place is going crazy and he'll calmly sink one to kind of quiet the crowd."

This was Leonard's eighth 30-point game on the road this postseason, only Kobe Bryant (9) had more in 2009. Overall, this was his 14th 30-point game of the 2019 playoffs, putting him alongside some elite company.

It's not just his scoring but Leonard's demeanor has always been a huge talking point of his game.

Former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green talks about going up against Leonard's steady emotions.

"I don't think you're ever going to rattle Kawhi. Not sure we used that word one time in our scouting report, we're going to rattle him. But you just try to make him take tough shots, and you live with the results."

With a couple of days rest, Leonard and the Raptors have a chance to clinch the franchise's first-ever championship on their home floor in Game 5.

Can they do it or will the two-time defending champs force a Game 6? For the Finals' full TV schedule, click here.

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