NBA Finals: Warriors nip Raptors, level series 1-1

MANILA, Philippines – Still “no KD no problem” for the Warriors as the Dubs made an 18-0 run to even the 2019 NBA Finals series vs. Raptors on Monday, June 3, 2019 in Toronto Canada.

NBA Finals: Warriors nip Raptors, level series 1-1
Steph Curry struggled in the first half but finished the game with a W against the Raptors in game 2 | Credit: CBS Sports

After Game 1 loss and Raptors’ big men dominance, Coach Steve Kerr had to shuffle his lineup by inserting Demarcus Cousins in absence of Kevin Durant who’s not yet medically cleared to play.

Players needed 2 minutes after the opening tip off before they finally made a first basket and it was a duel between Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson.

The Golden State’s lack of reliable center became a huge opportunity for Toronto as the Raptors kept driving inside and luckily getting fouls and buckets.

It was a well-balanced scoring for the Raptors while the Warriors solely relied on Thompson in most of the 1st quarter. However, Klay got his 2nd personal and was forced to rest to keep himself away from foul trouble.

Thompson’s sitting on the bench was a blessing in disguise for the Warriors as Steph Curry and the reserves stepped up and cut the lead to 1, 27-26 after the first 12 minutes of the opening period.

Eventual hero, Pascal Siakam wasn’t that much of an impact in the 1st quarter but finely contributed to his team as the 2nd period unfolded. Siakam found a mismatch against Thompson under the basket and dished out relevant dimes to Fred Van Vleet to widen the Raptors’ advantage.

As Toronto gained its big scoring momentum, Raptors duo Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka both obtained their 3rd personal fouls. Luckily, Demarcus Cousins got his 3rd personal too.

Aside from Curry missing his shots, Steve Kerr’s woes deepened as Andre Iguodala fell down on his own again with an apparent left knee injury. Iguodala however, walked by himself towards the locker room for further evaluation.

Backup point guard Fred Van Vleet did a terrific job in defending Steph Curry. Aside from that tremendous stoppage, Van Vleet chipped in significant points to possess a 59-54 lead at the half.

Iguodala got back in the third and initiated the Warriors offense that finally gave them the lead. Golden State’s backup center, Kevon Looney on the other hand, sustained a chest contusion and was questionable to return to the game.

The Raptors all of a sudden found themselves struggling to score at the 2nd half. In contrast, the Warriors made a stunning 18-0 run.

After almost 6 minutes, Fred Van Vleet drained a corner triple to break the ice. But still, Warriors’ lead is in double-digit.

Steph Curry found his rhythm from the outside and put his team in control at the end of the penultimate quarter.

Raptors fought back in the final quarter and lowered the lead to just 4. Klay Thompson looked hurt at the 8 minute mark and came out of the court limping heavily. Afterwards, he was diagnosed with a left hamstring injury and didn’t return to the game.

Despite Klay Thompson’s absence after hurting his leg, Quinn Cook dropped 3 consecutive long bombs to escalate the lead to 10 once again.

Under 5 minutes of the final canto, Toronto trailed Golden State by 8 but Kyle Lowry got fouled out after consuming all of his personal fouls.

The Raptors tried to bounce back by the threes. Unfortunately, no outside shots went in for them.

With 1:08 left in the game clock, Demarcus Cousins was slapped with a technical foul for bouncing the ball too high during a dead ball that paved a way for Toronto to trim the lead to just 5 points.

Danny Green made a trey to put his team behind the Warriors by 2. But after that big basket, the Raptors left Andre Iguodala open at the corner left and sealed game 2 in favor of Golden State, 109-104 and tied the series at 1-apiece.

Game 3 will be in Golden State on June 6 at 9am (Philippine Time).

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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