Coming into Thursday's game, it's safe to say that both Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan were hungry to take it to their former teams, but there was only room for one winner.
At the end of the night, it was DeRozan and the Spurs who got the last laugh over Leonard's Raptors. San Antonio jumped out to a 38-19 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, routing Toronto with a 125-107 victory.
Leonard and DeRozan each had 21 points on the night; only LaMarcus Aldridge (23) outscored both players. Leonard finished with five assists and one rebound, in a game where he was met with boos and mocks from the thousands of fans who packed the AT&T Center.
Wow. Chants of traitor and massive boos for Kawhi Leonard pic.twitter.com/hKNZr997uT— Nicholas Ryan Talbot (@NicholasRTalbot) January 4, 2019
In comparison, DeRozan added whopping 14 rebounds and 11 assists, out-playing Leonard in a battle of the two superstars that made up the bulk of last summer's blockbuster deal. DeRozan downplayed the importance of this game, but you have to think a dominating performance against his former team felt especially satisfying.
Leonard hit eight of his 13 field goal attempts and made five of seven free throws. In comparison, DeRozan went seven-of-15 from the field and was successful an all seven of his free throws.
With the win, the surging Spurs moved to 22-17 on the season, while Leonard's Raptors fall to 28-12. They still sit comfortably with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, despite injuries to key players like Jonas Valanciunas and All-Star Kyle Lowry.
It wasn't a very inspiring effort from the Spurs, who seemed poised to deliver a convincing win for DeRozan. The latter was extremely vocal about his dissatisfaction over the trade, going as far as to saying he has no reason to have a relationship with Masai Ujiri again.
What This Means
For at least one night, DeRozan got the last laugh against his former team. Their next meeting will take place in Toronto on Feb. 22, where the reception for DeRozan promises to be warmer than the one Leonard got in San Antonio.