Raptors

Raps Capitalize Against Banged Up Dubs in Game 3

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Following a historic third quarter collapse in Game 2, the Toronto Raptors managed to steady the ship against an injured Golden State Warriors team last night. With the victory, the Raptors regain home-court advantage and are just two wins away from their first ever NBA championship.

Raptors Dominate

Toronto seized control of the game early on, entering half-time with an eight-point lead. The Raptors wouldn’t make the same mistake twice, and instead built on their lead in the third quarter. They never looked back, and eventually sailed their way to a 123-109 victory.

The Raptors showed up offensively in impressive fashion. Kyle Lowry played a team-high 43 minutes, finishing with 23 points and nine assists. Danny Green continued his strong shooting in the finals, knocking down a barrage of three-pointers.

 

But it wasn’t just the Raptors’ backcourt that executed on the offensive end. Kawhi Leonard led the team with 30 points, while the tandem of Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol combined for 35 of their own.

Toronto found a way to beat Golden State at their own game, knocking down 17 three-pointers on 44.7% shooting. The Warriors managed to shoot just 33.3% from deep. Although outshooting Golden State may not be a dependable strategy every night, Toronto has shown that they can shoot with the best of them.

Shorthanded Warriors Can’t Get It Done

While the Raptors ultimately came out with the win, the Warriors deserve credit where credit is due. Despite several Raptors runs, the Warriors kept things close down the stretch. There aren’t many teams that could compete in the finals with two of their best players sidelined, but the Warriors aren’t like many teams.

Much of the credit needs to be given to Stephen Curry, who finished with a playoff career-high 47 points. Curry single-handedly kept his team alive, and dominated against one of the best defensive teams in the league. The Raptors threw everything they could at Curry, but he was unbothered. That’s why he’s a two-time MVP.

Curry’s 47 just wasn’t enough, however, as no other Warrior really managed to leave an imprint on the game. Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala combined for 28 points, but on a night where their team was shorthanded, their performances fell short.

It was ultimately the defence that would be Golden State’s downfall, allowing Toronto to shoot over 52% from the field. The losses of Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant clearly showed in that respect.

Game 4

Despite putting on an impressive showing, the Raptors need to take this game for exactly what it is; one game. Game 4 is expected to look substantially different. Klay Thompson is likely to return Friday night. Another victory at Oracle is not going to come easy.

This is a Warriors team that knows how to play from behind. Potentially falling behind 3-1 in a series is a challenging obstacle to overcome. The only team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals was the Cavaliers just a few years ago against the Warriors.

The Raptors can be sure that the Warriors are going to put everything they can into heading back to Toronto with the series tied 2-2.

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