Toronto Raptors

Nick Nurse: Kawhi Leonard was 'fine' to play 33 minutes, could have played more if needed

This was Kawhi Leonard's first playoff game in almost two years - May 15, 2017, was the last time he was active for a postseason game.

And his Toronto Raptors playoff debut started out red hot. Leonard made his first four shot attempts, scoring 11 points in the first quarter.

He got cold after that, missing all five shot attempts in the second quarter of Game 1, but got right back to it in the third with seven points on 3-for-4 shooting.

Leonard hit a few clutch shots down the stretch, but couldn't knock down the game-tying last-second 3-point attempt as the Raptors fell to the Orlando Magic, 104-101.

He finished with 25 points (10-18 FG, 3-5 3PT), six rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes of play.

Head coach Nick Nurse mentioned that Leonard was "fine" to play 33 minutes, though it wasn't by design. Kawhi also furthered that notion, stating that he was ready to play more than 33 minutes if needed.

Leonard missed 22 games in the regular season, mostly due to "load management," preparing him for the playoffs.

Managing his load seemed to have worked, as he told the media before the start of the postseason that he felt good about where he was at with his health.

He'll get two days of rest before the Raptors and Magic return to action for Game 2 on Tuesday.

With the loss, Toronto is now 2-14 all-time in Game 1s of the playoffs, including a 1-8 record in Game 1s at home.

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