NBA Finals: Raptors crush Warriors for 2-1 series lead

MANILA, Philippines – Steph Curry just can’t do it all. No KD, no Klay… more problems for the Golden State Warriors as the Toronto Raptors knocked down the Dubs in their homecourt, 123-109 in the 2019 NBA Finals Game 3 on June 6 at the Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, USA.

NBA Finals: Raptors crush Warriors for 2-1 series lead
Led by Kyle Lowry, the Toronto Raptors unleashed 17 three-pointers to beat the Warriors and gained 2-1 series lead | Photo Credit: Toronto Star

The tides have switched to Golden State after game 2 win and homecourt change. But, it will be tougher for the Warriors to defend their home turf as they miss the services of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney due to injuries.

The Raptors, as early as the opening tip off, capitalized on the absence of Warriors’ stars as they took an early lead courtesy of big men Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam. Steph Curry on the other hand was doing everything he could offensively to save his team from a 1-2 game deficit.

Toronto big men had been too much for Golden State and the reason why Coach Steve Kerr utilized his third-string center Andrew Bogut to neutralize Gasol and Siakam.

Supersub Quinn Cook assisted Curry in the dying moments of the first to cut Raptors’ lead to 36-29.

Coach Kerr tried different front court combinations to stop Siakam. He also inserted Jonas Jerebko in the 2nd quarter alongside Demarcus Cousins but the duo seemed unfamiliar to each other’s game play that resulted to a double-digit Toronto advantage.

Steph Curry got heated in the opener with double-figures under his name. Coach Nick Nurse went for his backup point guard Fred Van Vleet to guard and stop the hot-shooting Warrior. With just few minutes on the floor, Van Vleet froze Curry and the Raptors maintained their comfortable lead.

Toronto had been scoreless for the last 8 minutes of the 2nd period until Kyle Lowry broke the silence and ended the half, 60-52.

Compared to game 3 2nd half start where the Raptors were scoreless for the 1st 6 minutes, Toronto made an early 6-0 run to widen its gap. But the Warriors countered it with a 7-0 blitz to prevent the Raptors from getting away.

Steph Curry finally broke out of Van Vleet’s defense and hit his 30-point mark midway of the third.

Toronto waxed hot from the outside with the help of shooters Kyle Lowry and Danny Green. Lowry who made only 7 points in the previous game had been offensively significant today and one of the reasons why Raptors were up 96-83 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Raptors hit the 100th point mark early in the final quarter. There was no time to celebrate for the Canadian team as Steph Curry scored his 43rd point with over 9 minutes left in the game clock.

Curry's 47 points total in the game was the second-most ever by a player in a finals game loss.

With 6 minutes left in the final period, the door was slowly closing for the Warriors as Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry drained basket after basket to escalate the lead to 16.

Golden State brought the lead down to 10 but Toronto’s 3-point shooting carried on with 17 all in all to drop the Warriors 123-109 and to gain a 2-1 series advantage.

Game 4 will be on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 9AM (PH Time).

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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