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5 Best performances of NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 Playoffs

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124   //    17 Jun 2019, 07:58 IST

#4 Game 3 Eastern Conference Finals: Milwaukee vs Toronto, 36 points (11-25)

Result: Toronto wins 118-112 in double overtime.

With the Raptors down 2-0 in the series, despite Leonard putting up big numbers many believed that the Raptors were finished. No one expected them to win the next four and take the series in six. That is exactly what happened and it started with Kawhi leading them to victory in this double-overtime classic.

The Raptors took a commanding lead in the first quarter but the Bucks fought back through the next three and forced the game into overtime. A loss here would have almost certainly meant the end of the Raptors campaign and yet again when it mattered the most Kawhi Leonard delivered. He took over in overtime, scoring 10 of the team's 22 points to close out the game. He was also the primary defender on opposition superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and restricted him to just 12 points.

Kawhi played 52 minutes for his 36 points, 5 assists, and 9 rebounds. He was also near perfect from the free throw line missing just one of his 13 attempts.

#3 Game 7 Eastern Conference Semifinals: Philadelphia vs Toronto, 41 points (16-39)

Result: Toronto wins 92-90.

With everything to play for in a series-deciding Game 7, it was the 76ers that carried the momentum after thrashing Toronto in Game 6. Had it not been for Kawhi's heroics on the night, Toronto's run would have ended and the whole NBA landscape would look a lot different today.

Kawhi was not his usual efficient self, he took a career-high 39 shot attempts to get his points. But he was only doing what his team required as everybody else was struggling to score and were even turning down shots to pass the ball to Kawhi. Serge Ibaka with 17 points off the bench was the second-highest scorer.

Leonard was absolutely sensational in the final quarter, scoring 15 of the team's last 19 points by himself to give them the win in a close game. This also included a game-winning buzzer beater which will go down as one of the most iconic shots in NBA history.

With just 4.2 seconds left on the clock, Gasol inbounded the ball to Kawhi who dribbled the ball to the right baseline and took a 15-foot jump shot with the 7-feet tall Joel Embid right in his face. The ball bounced on the rim an agonizing four times before falling in and giving Toronto the win. This victory took basketball to new heights in Toronto with the whole nation slowly starting to believe that this unlikely crew could bring home the ultimate prize.