It was just too easy for the Toronto Raptors on Monday night. That’s how they made it look anyhow in a 127-106 win over the Charlotte Hornets, the opener of a three-game homestand at Scotiabank Arena. They’re now a perfect 4-0 to start the season. Kawhi Leonard returned to the lineup after sitting out Saturday night’s game against Washington to rest and didn’t miss a beat, putting up 22 points. Kyle Lowry also kept up his blistering pace with a double-double after 22 minutes on the way to 16 points and 14 assists. All in all, five Raptors finished with at least 15 points on the night, showing why they’re top contenders in the Eastern Conference.
- Not so Green: Lowry and Leonard continued their early-season dominance, but it was Danny Green who upped the ante with season highs in points (16) and rebounds (six). The transition defender — the low-profile plus one who arrived with Leonard in the blockbuster trade that sent DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio — showed off his three-and-D skills with arguably the best defensive play of the game: a chase-down block in the third quarter.
- What’s next? The dysfunctional Minnesota Timberwolves are in town Wednesday night. Will disgruntled Jimmy Butler be with them?
Laura Armstrong is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy