In 2014–15, Leonard played only 13 total minutes in Portland's first 9 games as he was stuck in the big man rotation behind Lopez, Freeland and Chris Kaman. On November 15, 2014, with LaMarcus Aldridge scratched with an upper respiratory illness against the Brooklyn Nets, Leonard picked up the start at power forward, playing 29 minutes. With his first major minutes at the power forward spot, he performed admirably, tallying 12 rebounds and hitting a three-pointer. He went on to pick up DNPs in 11 of the next 12 games. But when Lopez broke his hand going up for a rebound against the San Antonio Spurs on December 15, Leonard got another chance to show that he deserved time on the court. His improvement was incremental, but noticeable, over the following seven weeks. His play while Lopez was out earned him time to prove himself. He only saw six DNPs after the turn of the year, and grew in confidence despite limited minutes. At the season's end, Leonard had produced a remarkable Steve Nash-like 50/40/90 season, shooting 51% from the field, 42% from three-point range, and 93% from the free throw line. In the penultimate game of the regular season on April 13, he scored a career-high 24 points in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He went on to record a playoff-best game with 13 points and 13 rebounds in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 4 of Portland's first-round series. The Blazers lost the series 4–1.