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May 25, 2019

Kawhi Leonard

Kyle Lowry

Toronto, Ontario - Postgame 6, Canada

Raptors - 100, Bucks - 94.

Q. I want to ask you both about that one play in the middle of the fourth where Kyle, you picked off a pass and drove it to the hoop and then waited for Kawhi. Just how significant a play was that and tell me about what you saw and why you waited.
KYLE LOWRY: It was a momentum kind of capper. We kind of were on a run, and why not feed the big dog. Let the big dog eat. I'm always going to look for the guy that I know can finish with the best of them. That's what he did. He finished with the best of them right there.

Q. What does it feel like when you were able to complete that play in that fashion?
KAWHI LEONARD: It was great. Like Kyle said, we were on a run, and the building exploded after that dunk. Kind of got us a little bit more adrenaline to get another stop. I've been playing with him for a while now, and it's just chemistry right there.

I know just to keep running with Kyle. If he doesn't have nothing easy, he's going to make the right play, like he said.

Q. Kyle, you guys have been the best team in the Eastern Conference over the last six years if you take cumulative, but playoffs you weren't able to break through. What does it mean to you, the guy that's been here the whole time, to finally break through? How much are you savoring this right now?
KYLE LOWRY: It means a lot. It's taken a long time to get here in my career, 13 years, seven years here. I've run into one guy for a while. We were given the opportunity -- he left -- and we beat a really good team in Milwaukee. For me, I'm going to savor the moment, but I'm not satisfied. Our goal is to win the NBA championship. We're just going to keep getting better and plugging away.

Q. Kawhi, Kyle has known Nick Nurse for about six years. This was your first year with him. What was he like in the huddle tonight when you were down and how did he contribute to where you are now?
KAWHI LEONARD: He was pretty composed. Like I told Ernie [Johnson] out there, we were down about, I think, 15 points, 13 points in that third quarter with about six minutes left. He told us that we were just here last game and to keep fighting, keep striving, one possession at a time. We all felt like we were still in the game. We had a little bit of momentum left. We just talked amongst each other once again, and just said, Let's go out here and enjoy it, and we can play better offense and defense. We ended up doing that, and we ended up winning the game.

Q. Kawhi, it's been five years since you've been back to the NBA Finals. Considering everything you've had to go through, the injuries and stuff like that, what does it mean to you to get back to that stage?
KAWHI LEONARD: It's great. I worked so hard to get to this point with the season I had last year, just always betting on myself and knowing what I feel and what's right for me. I ended up coming here with a great group of guys, a lot of talent. And I just strived with them every day. I just kind of bought into their system. Kyle helped me a lot with my transition, on the court and off the court, asking him questions, him just pushing me on the floor as well and letting me know what to do in situations when he calls plays. All that hard work just put together; now we're here and it's exciting.

Q. Kawhi, out there on the court, Masai just said you're the best player in the league, and he plays in Toronto. What does it feel like to hear that said about you, and do you feel you've established yourself in that position during this playoff run?
KAWHI LEONARD: I don't really judge my game like that. I'm more of a team aspect, see what my team is doing. I just want to win. I don't care about being the best player. I want to be the best team. I've always said that. Just before the season when we made the trade, Masai felt that way about me. He told me how he felt and why he made the trade. It's turning out well now. We're in the Finals, and we're not done yet.

Q. As you said, you ran into a guy several times at this time of year and you couldn't get past him. What is it that made this group capable of doing something that no other Raptors team was ever able to accomplish?
KYLE LOWRY: The one thing about Kawhi, and you guys all know it, is he literally stays level-headed all the time. He never gets up, he never gets down. He showed some emotion after Game 7 against the Sixers. But I think him and Danny [Green] brought that championship pedigree here, just kind of staying level-headed and even-keeled. Then you've got Marc Gasol coming in, another veteran that's been in the league a long time.

We just had a bunch of guys that this whole season we've played through injuries and played through this and that. This year, Kawhi coming off the year he had last year. We did a good job of his load management. The staff did a great job of that.

We just played hard and stayed the course. Nick Nurse did a good job of setting the tone early in the year. You knew we were working for April, May and June. And now we'll start June.

Q. You've been here seven years. You know this fan base is sort of fatalistic, that they sort of assume things will go wrong. Do you feel things have flipped, that you're not just affecting this team, that you're affecting this city?
KYLE LOWRY: I think we just went out there and did our job. I think we just go out there and play extremely hard. We've got great fans. They support us through the good times and the bad times. Right now is a great time, and we're glad that they're our fans.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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