Toronto may have dropped a close game against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday afternoon at Scotiabank Arena, but the Raptors, and their newest young star, made quite the impression on one of the world’s best players.
Nets forward Kevin Durant spoke to reporters following his team’s 116-103 win, and wasn’t shy about heaping praise onto Raptors rookie forward Scottie Barnes.
In just over 30 minutes of play, Barnes registered eight points, seven rebounds, four assists and a staggering five steals — one of which stood out as the highlight of the night for Raptors’ fans.
"How old is he? 19? 20? I mean, sheesh," Durant said. "He knows how to play the right way and he's only going to get better."
Jheeez... Scottie really said 'GIMMIE DAT' pic.twitter.com/MkrnYDFYzr
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) November 7, 2021
Meanwhile, Durant put up an MVP-calibre performance, scoring 31 points, grabbing seven boards and dishing seven assists for a dominant outing.
Of course, the star forward’s last game at Scotiabank Arena was Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals as a member of the Golden State Warriors, in which he suffered a devastating achilles injury that sidelined him for over a year.
Despite the bad memories, Durant showed the Raptors a ton of respect in his postgame presser.
"I love playing in Toronto. The fans have been amazing to me," said Durant. "The last time I was here was one of my lowest moments in my basketball career, but it's good to come back here, play, see the fans and get a W."
Yeah, KD's got a whole lotta respect for the Raptors:
"This is a championship organization and you respect how they approach the craft everyday. You know Nick Nurse is gonna have them prepared, they've got a lot of young guys that'll sure run through a wall for Nick." pic.twitter.com/aH1gqAI9i1
— Vivek Jacob (@vivekmjacob) November 8, 2021
Brooklyn’s win put a damper on Pascal Siakam’s return, as the Raptors’ forward made his season debut after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The 27-year-old scored 15 points and added four rebounds in limited minutes, as Nick Nurse eases him back into action.
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