Leonard swapped Toronto for his hometown of Los Angeles in the summer after guiding the former to their maiden NBA title.
And all eyes were on the 28-year-old as the defending champions came to LA on Monday night.
By his brilliant standards, Leonard had a lowkey scoring match as he could only muster 12 points in a 98-88 victory for Doc Rivers’ side.
Leonard struggled on two-for-11 shooting but was bailed out by team-mate Lou Williams’ who scored 21 points for the Western Conference side.
Alongside his 12 points, Leonard had 11 rebounds and nine assists but also nine turnovers, prompting Clippers coach Rivers to joke about him having ‘almost a quadruple-double.’
Throughout the game, Leonard faced plenty of double coverage. ‘As soon as I walked across half-court they tried to get the ball out of my hands,’ he said. ‘They did a great job on me defending and sending an extra body. It got me better and it’s going to get my team-mates better.
‘It’s just fun, just be able to compete against guys who you were with last year,’ Leonard said. ‘It’s a little bit more competitive because you do talk to them.’
Last season, Leonard led the Raptors to their first championship, averaging 30.5 points and 9.1 rebounds in 24 post-season games to earn his second Finals MVP award.
‘I had a great time there. It’s the next chapter now. I can’t live in the past,’ he said. ‘I’m with a different team and they want to have that same feeling.’
Pascal Siakam had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Norman Powell added 15 points and VanVleet had 14 points for the injury-depleted Raptors, who had their three-game winning streak snapped in the second game of a back-to-back after beating the LA Lakers on Sunday.