Pascal Siakam was phenomenal in the Toronto Raptors' Game 1 win over the Golden State Warriors.
The likely Most Improved Player of the Year showcased exactly how much he has improved by breaking out in his first ever NBA Finals game.
Siakam only had 12 points at the half but he came out of the break gunning. He scored 10 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter and went on to score 14 points in the frame on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting from the field.
Siakam finished with a team-high 32 points shooting 14-for-17 (82.4%) from the field and 2-for-3 (66.7%) from beyond the arc. It wasn't just his offence either, he grabbed eight boards, dished out three assists and came up with two blocks and a steal on the defensive end, too.
The Raptors' third-year player was all over the floor, pushing the pace, playing with a high motor and putting constant pressure on the Warriors' defence in transition.
Toronto finished with 24 fast break points and created 17 points off of 17 Warriors' turnovers to help make a major difference in the game.
After a performance like that, Siakam's name was in the limelight. Take a look at what some of the Warriors and Raptors players and coaches were saying about his stellar Game 1.
"He was brilliant."
"I think he played an amazing game ... I let him get into a rhythm and have to do a better job of taking his rhythm away, and I will.
You have to take your hat off to him. Even before this game you still have to take your hat off to him. What he's been able to accomplish this year. He's become 'a guy'. He put a lot of work in to get there and I respect that, but like I said, I gotta take him out of this series and that's on me."
"He pretty much found a bucket wherever he was at."
"He's one of the better finishers in the paint in the game. I know we'll step up to the challenge on Sunday to limit his opportunities, which a lot of them came in transition from sprinting the floor."
"He's playing with some confidence and he was out there on attack. He's probably one of the fastest guys in the NBA, so he tried to use that to their advantage. They were able to get a lot of fast break opportunities and he was on the receiving end of a lot of those."
"He played with really good composure. He got to his spots and got on balance and was patient. When he needed to go quick and get around (the Warriors defence) he did, and he got a couple really tough ones to go in as well."
"He stayed in his rhythm. He stayed in his groove. He stayed in his attack mode. He didn't settle. Draymond is a great defender. Pascal just came out and kept using the speed and his length and finishing and being athletic. He did a good job tonight."
"Hard work and dedication and knowing the type of talent that he has. Never settling for anything but being the best basketball player he can be."
"He played well on both ends of the floor. He knocked down his shots and was aggressive on both ends of the floor. He got his hands on a lot of basketballs tonight with deflections and blocked shots. ...
He's going out there and doing it. He's not going out there and shying away. He's very aggressive on the floor.
"He does a great job of attacking those gaps, using his body and attacking those angles that the defence gives you. I like when he plays that aggressive.
"He's special, man. He's a special guy and he's a special basketball player. I think that we're watching him become a force in this league, and he's gonna give people a lot of problems in this league for a long time."
"If you put the work in, and it's something that is so cliché most of the time, but that's the story of my life, just going out there every single night, working hard to get to this level, and knowing that I have so much to learn and I have so much room to improve and grow. I think that's what make it's fun. And for me just kind of falling in love with the game and wanting to get better and wanting to learn. Moments like this definitely shows that I'm going to continue to be myself, continue to work hard and have so much room to improve."