Popovich started Pau Gasol in place of David Lee to give the Spurs another outside shooter in the starting lineup and it paid off early. San Antonio shot 62 percent in the opening quarter.
The Spurs finished at 54 percent.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points after being limited to four in the opener, and Danny Green added 12.
Leonard tied his postseason high with 20 points in the first half as the Spurs opened up a 65-55 lead entering the third quarter.
Harden led a charge in the second half, but not with his offense. He swiped the ball away, leapt out of bounds and tossed it backward to save it and then stripped Green on the following possession to set a strong defensive tone. The Rockets would force five turnovers in the third quarter to cut their deficit to 88-83 entering the fourth.
CAVS 125, RAPTORS 103
CLEVELAND – Unstoppable. Untouchable. Undefeated.
Back on the playoff stage, where he’s starred so many times before, LeBron James is making things look easy.
James scored 39 points, hopped Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the career playoff scoring list and pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 125-103 blowout over the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Wednesday night.
And while he may not win another regular-season MVP, James is again showing that May and June belong to him.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” he said, downplaying his break-neck start to this postseason. “Just blessed I’m able to make a few plays tonight to help us win another game.”