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    NBA Finals: Raptors score anew in Warriors turf and just a win-shy for the title

    MANILA, Philippines – The Toronto Raptors are now a win away from being the national champions after dispatching the Golden State Warriors, 105-92 in the Game 4 of the 2019 NBA Finals on Saturday, June 8 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland California, USA.

    Kahwi Leonard’s 36 points gave his team a 3-1 series advantage
    Kahwi Leonard’s 36 points gave his team a 3-1 series advantage. Credit: Fan Duel

    It took both teams 3 minutes and 4 field goal attempts each before the game 4 book had officially opened. “Ugly first 3 minutes of the series” as the NBA commentators described it.

    Once again and for the 4th time in the Finals, Kevin Durant opted not play as he nurses his injured achilles. Good thing, Klay Thompson had been reactivated after suffering a hamstring injury in game 2.

    Kevon Looney who was previously declared out for the rest of the series due to chest contusion returned to the court to help Demarcus Cousins in defending the front court against Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam.

    Thompson and Looney’s reactivation helped the Warriors secure the lead after playing the 1st quarter, 25-17.

    Gasol and Siakam weren’t instrumental in the opener. Luckily, backup big man, Serge Ibaka showed in the 2nd period to match Warriors’ scoring intensity.

    Comeback kid Klay Thompson started to get hot from the perimeter and outside despite being cautious of his injury. Thompson got into double figures with more than half of time left in the second.

    Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard joined forces in the dying minutes of the 2nd period and were successful in reducing the lead to just 4, 46-42 at the end of the half.

    Halftime break didn’t cool “The Klaw” down as he drained 2 straight triples for the lead at the start of the 3rd quarter.

    Same as Leonard, Thompson was still on fire at the downtown and lived in the catch-and-shoot plays.

    3rd period was a slow and low scoring ball game for both teams but it was the Raptors who had a bigger impact as they maintained their slight advantage through three pointers.

    The last 2 minutes of the penultimate quarter was insane as Kawhi Leonard became unstoppable and Golden State committed multiple turnovers. Leonard ended the third with a baseline jumper to grab a dozen lead.

    Not a good start for Toronto in the final quarter as Fred Van Vleet sustained a cut under his right eye after Shawn Livingston accidentally elbowed him while trying to make a shot.

    Now bothered by his injury, Klay Thompson started to miss shots from his spot. In contrast, Kawhi Leonard kept bucketing points in different angles and escalated the lead to 16 under 9 minutes.

    With 4:30 remaining, Golden State trimmed the lead to just 10 via inside shots. To counter, Coach Nick Nurse re-inserted Marc Gasol and tasked the Spaniard to help Pascal Siakam in intimidating the slashing Warriors.

    With still a double-digit lead, the Toronto Raptors started to melt the clock to prevent a massive error which they made in game 2 where the Warriors caught them up and won the game.

    As the final horn sounded, the Raptors found themselves just a win away in winning their first NBA Title as they humiliated the Warriors in their home court, 105-92.

    Game 5 will be held in Toronto on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 9AM (PH Time).

    — Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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