The Kawhi Leonard-DeMar DeRozan trade is working out quite well for the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors own the NBA’s second-best record at 28-11 (a half game behind the Milwaukee Bucks), and Leonard has played like an MVP.

That was evident on Tuesday night, when Leonard scored a career-high 45 points in Toronto’s 122-116 over the Utah Jazz.

Leonard was 16-of-22 from the field, and 13-of-17 at the free throw line. And he made zero three-pointers (0-for-3)! That’s a very unique accomplishment, especially for a player that averages 2.3 three-point makes per game. You’d think his career-high in points scored would feature a big night from behind the arc.

The veteran two-way star is now averaging a career-best 26.7 points per game with Toronto. With his prowess on both ends of the floor, and with Toronto a threat to have the NBA’s best record, Leonard should stay in the NBA MVP mix all season. He also may be just what Toronto — annually a good regular-season team — needed to finally make a serious run in the playoffs, after years of disappointment.

Leonard’s special night is followed by what is sure to be another special, emotional game on Thursday- vs the Spurs in San Antonio. It will be Leonard’s first game in San Antonio since the trade.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.