The star forward urged his teammates to "enjoy the moment" during a huddle in the middle of the Toronto Raptors' game-changing 26-3 second-half scoring run that propelled the franchise to its first-ever trip to the NBA Finals.
"The one thing Kawhi really stressed to us was just to enjoy it," guard Norman Powell said, according to ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz. "Don't get too out of character, just enjoy the moment and continue to go out there and just lay it on the floor. So it was an amazing feeling just to be able to battle and chip away at it.
"It's how you make history."
With the Bucks hanging on to a 76-71 lead and Leonard on the bench to start the fourth quarter, four different Raptors scored - including Powell - as part of the 26-3 stretch. When the 2014 Finals MVP re-entered the game at the 8:30 mark, Toronto had retaken the lead for good.
Milwaukee was held to three points on 1-of-9 shooting - including an 0-for-6 mark from distance - during Toronto's run. The Bucks were outscored 29-18 overall in the final frame.
The Raptors will take on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, beginning Thursday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.