Updated: Feb 29
Were back! So are the NBA Finals and the Toronto Raptors now have a 2-1 lead on the defending Champion Golden State Warriors. Behind a true team effort on offense and defense the Raptors were able to outlast a 47 point 8 rebounds and 7 assists night from Steph Curry.
Kawhi was back to his playoff heroics putting down 30 points 7 boards and 6 assists and without Golden State’s fully healthy lineup, all starters were able to score in double figures (as well as Fred VanVleet with 11).
Klay Thompson sat out the game but was on the bench looking like he was willing to give that tender hamstring a chance. That chance never came due in large part to Steve Kerr’s confidence and understanding that this was not a pivotal game for the Warriors to risk the long term healthy of the hamstring of one of the purest shooters in the NBA with at least one more game in Oakland (Friday, 9pm EST). The longer this series goes, the closer the Warriors get to their not so secret weapon returning to the lineup in Kevin Durant so, Kerr’s calm demeanor is not just for show. When you have an ace in your pocket as good as KD, you worry less about a series going 7 games and frankly, I believe Kerr wants to see a 7th game to unleash the Slim Reaper (KD) and his healthy calf so if I’m Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors, I finish this series off ASAP!
Danny Green and Serge Ibaka posted some big veteran numbers. Green went 6-10 from 3point range and some great defense with an unbelievable chase down block to keep an late game lead padded well enough for the Raps. Ibaka was solid on both ends of the ball as well posting 6 well timed points and some amazing defense tallying 6 blocks that were just as well timed as his points. Ibaka was not met without adversity, however, Demarcus Cousins was far too strong for the aging Ibaka but only threw 4 points into the mix for the Golden State Stephs.
I do not expect Klay to miss another game which means I do not expect Toronto to have as well rounded of a game as they did in game 3. Let’s see if inserting Klay back into the lineup gives Golden State the firepower needed to even the series.