Raptors stun Warriors again with strong victory
This was a night when every single Raptors starter found their feet, and stopped the Warriors from finding theirs, with a resounding 123-109 victory on the road against a side gunning for three NBA Finals wins in a row.
Every starter got at least 17, and Kawhi Leonard got their best with 30 points, but it was their overall team game that showed up Golden State once again, leaving the Raptors in the knowledge that another win here at the Oracle Arena could give them a chance of clinching the NBA Championships back on home soil.
With the Raptors in their first ever NBA Finals, they are just a couple of wins away from the biggest triumph in their franchise history.
On a night when injuries forced their hand a fair bit, the Warriors were without Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, while DeMarcus Cousins is still arguably not fully fit after time on the sidelines, and it seems as if he is not going to have the space he needs to play himself back into form. His contribution of just four points underlined that issue.
It also meant starts for Andre Iguodala, who had been struggling with his own injury issues, and Shaun Livingston, who has barely started for them all season. It showed as the Warriors lacked some cohesiveness in their play, and it all got left to Steph Curry, who hit an impressive 47 points despite their loss. Only Curry was able to hit the basket regularly for his side, and Draymond Green added just 17 himself, so there was little all-round support.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said that he could not be upset with his side’s performance, but noted that they needed to “get some guys back” in reference to their mounting injury woes. Without the likes of Durant, they lack some firepower, but arguably Klay Thompson would be more important as he allows everyone more space and time.
Toronto had shooting of 52.4%, which highlighted just how driven they are to win these games. Their key issue in their first loss in game two was their lack of sharpshooting, but they recovered their focus to dominate on the scoreboard once again.
If they can repeat this kind of performance on Friday, and the big guns do not recover in time, then Toronto could be in a great position when they are at home once again for game five.
Words: Noah Hart