Kyrie Irving hits bank shot off glass versus Raptors

Kyrie Irving hits bank shot off glass versus Raptors
Kawhi Leonard Stellar as Raptors Beat Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Celtics
Now that every NBA team has a game under its belt, we can safely say that the 2018-19 season is underway. On Thursday night we got to see LeBron James in his Los Angeles Lakers debut, and on Friday we were treated to a marquee matchup of two of the Eastern Confernces top contenders — the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors.

In the nightcap, the defending champion Warriors take on the upstart Utah Jazz on national television. Utah is always a tough place to play, and the champs have had a particularly difficult time there recently.

Oh man, the Raptors are going to be fun. In a marquee Eastern Conference matchup, the Raptors defeated the Celtics thanks to a brilliant performance from Kawhi Leonard, particularly in the second half. He finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds, and even drew MVP chants from the Toronto crowd. If Leonard keeps playing like this, the Raptors are going to be a force.

Gang Green finally took a strong 8 point lead late in the second on a Jaylen Brown corner three. However, it was promptly erased by a big 3 point shot by Serge Ibaka. The half ended on a Fred VanVleet coming up with a loose ball the Celtics couldnt control and hitting a three at the buzzer to cut the four going into the locker room.

Kawhi Leonard (31 PTS, 10 REB) put on a show as the @Raptors held on to beat the Celtics! #WeTheNorth

Oh, Jimmy. As expected, Butler was introduced to a chorus of boos in his home debut for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Until his trade request is honored, he better get used to this.

The Raptors got their largest lead of the game midway through the fourth on an OG Anunoby slash, but Horford cut it back to three on the other end. A minute later, Leonard hit a big three to run the lead to six but Marcus Morris Sr. had the answer to keep contact.

It didnt seem to bother him, though, as he put up 33 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks in a Wolves win.

Video: Kyle Lowry MISSES DeMar DeRozan! Does LONELY Handshake In Memory Of Lost Friend…

Kyle Lowry still misses DeMar DeRozan, so he did their handshake routine by himself on Raptors opening night

It didnt take long for rookie Trae Young to get hot from the outside. Young made three 3-pointers and scored 13 points in the first quarter alone on Friday.

After scoring 24 points in the regular-season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Leonard went off for 31 in a 113-101 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday. 

Preview: Wizards look to bounce back on Saturday as they host the Raps

Domantas Sabonis couldnt care less about the defenders in front of him. He threw down this monstrous poster dunk against the Bucks.

Russell Westbrook missed the Thunders season opener while recovering from offseason knee surgery, and rumors circulated that he might take the court on Friday night against the Clippers. Unfortunately he has decided to hold off on playing, according to ESPNs Royce Young. But there is a chance hell play on Sunday.

Kawhi Leonard, Raptors show Celtics how its done

Westbrook is close to returning and has been cleared for full contact drills and practice, but after an energetic workout after shootaround determined to sit Fridays game. Its looking likely Westbrook could be available against the Kings on a Sunday.

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Prior to Wednesday nights game, he even paid a little tribute to their friendship by doing their handshake routine all by himself. 

Watch Kyle Lowrys heartbreaking pregame air bump handshake with DeMar DeRozan

The Toronto Raptors made a statement Friday night, beating the Boston Celtics 113-101 in an early-season Eastern Conference clash at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

Raptors small forward Kawhi Leonard turned in a standout performance for the 2-0 Raptors, registering a game-high 31 points to go along with 10 rebounds and three assists.

Theres a new tandem to look out for when it comes to the Raptors. The Lowry/DeRozan tandem has been replaced with Lowry/Leonard. In their teams season opener against the Cavs, Lowry went off with 27 points and 8 assists while Leonard followed with an impressive 24 points and 13 boards. Looks like theyre not having trouble meshing, so the Wizards need to be ready defensively.

The Celtics, who fell to 1-1, received balanced scoring throughout their lineup in the loss, as all five starters scored in double figures.

Since media day, one of the biggest topics of discussion has revolved around Porter shooting more threes and even Coach Scott Brooks asked the media to get on Porter about it. Ask him questions about that every time: Otto, why dont you shoot? He needs to shoot the ball. He passes up three or four shots a game, Brooks said during Media Day.

After struggling in the season-opening win over the Philadelphia 76ers, both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward showed marked improvement Friday.

Irving finished with a team-high 21 points as well as six assists and four rebounds, while Hayward pitched in 14 points and seven rebounds.

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