How the Raptors Won Their First N.B.A. Championship


The stars of the teams have been a bit quieter. Stephen Curry is being his usual disruptive self with his off-ball movement, but he’s scored just 9 points on 2 of 7 shooting. Kawhi Leonard has 9 points and 2 rebounds and picked up a costly third foul late in the quarter — one that gave Thompson three free points.

Golden State seems to have a choice: Go small to open up the offense (which lets Ibaka dominate inside), or go big to solidify its defense (leaving just one shooter on the court). Neither option is particularly appealing and Toronto, trying to close out a championship on the road, seems to be working to force an advantage no matter what the Warriors choose.

Scott Cacciola: I wrote about Kyle Lowry after he did a lot of little stuff to help the Raptors win Game 1. He did not exactly clutter the box score. Well, he has done everything for Toronto tonight: scoring, passing, leading, steadying. For all the change that the Raptors have undergone in recent seasons to shape themselves into bona fide contender, Lowry has been a constant. And he, more than anyone else in the franchise, with the possible exception of Masai Ujiri, the team’s president of basketball operations, has been through the most, including the many lows. He is doing all he can to try to end this thing tonight, on the highest of highs.

Stephen Curry came back into the game and Golden State went on an immediate 6-0 run to take a lead, 44-43.

The offensive push was all about Curry’s ability to move with and without the ball. He had defenders trailing him all over the court, helping set up two dunks: one by Kevon Looney, and one by Andre Iguodala on a feed from Draymond Green. Curry tossed in a little floater of his own while trying to draw a foul.

The incredible thing for the Raptors is how tight this game is despite Kawhi Leonard having just 4 points and Marc Gasol having just 1. All of their offense has been Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet. Leonard can explode at any time, but so far he’s just 2 of 5 from the field and appears to be getting frustrated.

Scott Cacciola: Kawhi Leonard has had a quiet start, but the Raptors have gotten absolutely nothing from Marc Gasol, who’s missed all four of his field-goal attempts and just committed a turnover. It probably goes without saying that the Raptors can’t rely on Kyle Lowry to keep carrying them: Contributions from the likes of Gasol would be welcome.



Sahred From Source link Sports

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