Rick Zamperin: Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors answer back, series tied 2-2

Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard, right, shoots as Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons, left, defends during the second half of Game 4 of their second-round NBA playoff series, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Chris Szagola

Kawhi Leonard dominated again, but unlike Game 3, the supporting cast for the Toronto Raptors came to play in a crucial 101-96 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Leonard scored a game high 39 points in Sunday’s win to even their second round playoff series at 2-2, and give Toronto home court advantage once again.

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Four other Raptors reached double digits in scoring — the first time that’s happened in this series — including Serge Ibaka’s much-needed 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench. The big man from Brazzaville scored a combined 13 points in the first three games of the series.

Marc Gasol recorded 16 points, five boards and three assists while Kyle Lowry went off for 14/6/7 (points/rebounds/assists). Both players combined for only 14 points in a Game 3 loss.

READ MORE: Raptors even up series with 101-96 win

Game 4, however, belonged to Leonard. His 39 points came in 43 minutes of action — the most of any player in the game — and his 14 rebounds (three on offence) topped the scoresheet as well.

‘The Claw’ was everywhere and punctuated his picturesque playoff performance with a clutch three-pointer with 1:01 left to play in the game with Sixers star Joel Embiid in his face to give Toronto a 94-90 lead.

Leonard is averaging an incredible 38 points per game in this series and has been held to under 30 in three of the Raps’ nine playoff games.

READ MORE: Rick Zamperin: Philadelphia 76ers make Toronto Raptors pay for their slow start

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He’s also played more than 40 minutes in two of the last three games after going over the 40-minute mark just four times in the regular season.

Where would the Raptors be without Kawhi Leonard? If he and the Raps continue to fire on all cylinders, we won’t have to think about that until after the NBA Finals.

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