Raptors' Kawhi Leonard player of the week
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard has been named the NBA Eastern Conference player of the week, while Nick Nurse has been named the conference's top head coach of the month.
Nurse led Toronto to an NBA-best 19-4 record over the end of October and the month of November, including a franchise-record six straight victories to start the season.
Offensively the Raptors ranked third in the NBA averaging 117.6 points and first in field goal percentage (.494).
Highlighting that period were key victories over Atlantic Division rivals Boston and Philadelphia, and a month-capping 131-128 overtime win against the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
A native of Carroll, Iowa, Nurse becomes the first rookie head coach to earn the award since Luke Walton in November 2015. He joins Dwane Casey, Sam Mitchell and Lenny Wilkens as the only coaches in franchise history to earn the honour.
"It's an honour, of course," Nurse said. "I didn't remember that they had one, to be honest with you. I've said it a lot, I've been given a really good job, great players, great organization, etc. I feel like I've been given a Lamborghini to drive and I'm just trying to not drive it like a 1973 Dodge Monaco or something like that . . . I'm just trying to drive it like a Lamborghini."
Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press
Leonard, who has excelled under Nurse, averaged 29.3 points and nine rebounds last week as the Raptors won three times to extend their season-high winning streak to eight games.
He shot .536 (30-for-56) from the field, .368 (7-for-19) from three-point range and .875 (21-for-24) at the free throw line.
Leonard's week included a season-high 37 points on Thursday in the win over Golden State.