For the first time since being traded last July, San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan returned to Toronto to face the Raptors, his former team. Fans gave him a standing ovation during pregame introductions. He was also presented with a tribute video during the game. However, Raptors fans knew that they got the better end of the deal with the Spurs because in exchange for DeRozan, the team acquired Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard finished with 25 points, six rebounds, and two assists for the Raptors, who have now won seven straight games. They’re now half a game behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
DeRozan led the Spurs with 23 points, eight assists, and four boards. He’s the only starter for San Antonio that reached 20 points.
The Spurs lost the opportunity to inch closer to the fifth-seeded Houston Rocketsand are instead stuck in the seventh spot in the loaded Western Conference standings.
Both DeRozan and Leonard seem to have moved on from the controversial trade last summer and are solely focused on helping their respective teams win. With the playoffs looming, every team will need all the momentum they can get heading into the knockout phase of the 2018-19 season.
However, this individual match-up was clearly won by Kawhi, and DeRozan will have to wait until next season to get his revenge, as this will be the last time that the Raptors and Spurs will face each other this season.