The Toronto Raptors returned home on Monday and came up with a big win over the Brooklyn Nets, beating them by a final score of 127-125.
Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 30 points, Marc Gasol gave the Raptors a huge boost off the bench in his home debut and Patrick McCaw had his best game since moving to Toronto.
With that in mind, here are four takeaways from a thriller between the Raptors and Nets...
Brooklyn's explosive backcourt
The Nets put on a shooting exhibition in the first half, with 39 of their 60 points coming from the perimeter.
The Nets have been one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the league this season, but it wasn't much of a team effort. Joe Harris was responsible for seven of their 13 made 3-pointers, doing so on only eight attempts.
The shooting guard got off to a scorching start by making five of his six 3-point attempts in the first quarter. He then went a perfect 2-for-2 in the second quarter, tying his career-high and breaking it in only 13 minutes of action.
22 PTS | Career-high 7 3PM#MtnDew3PT participant Joe Harris is on 🔥 in the first half! #WeGoHard pic.twitter.com/UPljeprNzV- NBA (@NBA) February 12, 2019
Harris went scoreless in the third quarter, but it didn't matter. After shooting 1-for-7 in the first half, D'Angelo Russell exploded in the third quarter with 14 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field.
It set the stage for a competitive fourth quarter, with the game tied at 92.
The Marc Gasol experience
The fourth quarter was the Marc Gasol show.
Gasol entered the quarter with only five points, but he scored nine points in the opening minutes to give the Raptors the lead.
Six out of those points came in the post and three came on a 3-pointer in transition.
Marc Gasol with the one-handed jam! #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/mQM3f6eWwm- NBA Canada (@NBACanada) February 12, 2019
Gasol also had a beautiful pass to Patrick McCaw during that run that set the athletic guard up for a wide open dunk.
.@MarcGasol ladies and gentlemen pic.twitter.com/zLoW75JHOw- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 12, 2019
It's going to take some time for Gasol to settle in to his new surroundings, but it's sequences like those that show what he brings to this team - low post scoring, 3-point shooting and slick passing, plus reliable defence on the other end of the court.
Gasol finished the game with 16 points, six rebounds, two assists and one block in 22 minutes off the bench. When he checked out for good, the Raptors found themselves up 112-108 with 4:34 to play.
That's when things got interesting.
Kawhi Leonard for the win
Toronto's lead didn't last very long.
A 3-pointer from Kyle Lowry extended it to 120-114 with 2:45 to play, but the Nets responded by draining three 3-pointers in the final minutes of the game; two from Allen Crabbe and one from D'Angelo Russell.
Russell's 3-pointer gave the Nets a 125-122 lead with 50 seconds remaining, forcing Nick Nurse to take a timeout.
Danny Green hit a 3-pointer coming out of the break to tie the game at 125. Kawhi Leonard then sealed the deal by draining a pull-up in the final seconds of the game to give the Raptors the win.
Danny Green for the tie, #KawhiLeonard FTW!@Raptors win 127-125 in Toronto. #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/L3EIXvmsql- NBA (@NBA) February 12, 2019
Leonard finished with a game-high 30 points on 10-for-20 shooting from the field. He also dished out eight assists, setting a new career-high.
A breakout game for Patrick McCaw
Patrick McCaw had his best game as a Raptor. Only Marc Gasol played more minutes off the bench and McCaw made the most of the opportunity, scoring 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field.
It was the first time McCaw has scored in double figures since March 29, 2018.
McCaw got off to an strong start with nine points in the first half. He was aggressive attacking the basket and even knocked down a 3-pointer, only his second of the season and his first with the Raptors.
While he scored only four points in the second half, McCaw came up with an impressive steal on Caris LeVert in the third quarter and a big offensive rebound in the fourth that gifted Norman Powell with a layup.
Raptors fans can only hope that's a sign of what's to come for the 23-year-old.