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Join us Thursday at 6 p.m. for live scoring, news and analysis as the Warriors make their fifth consecutive NBA Finals appearance when they take on the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena.
The Warriors, who will be without two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant for at least the first two games in Canada, may be back in familiar territory in the Finals, but for the first time in four years LeBron James isn’t waiting for them. Instead, the Warriors must deal with Raptors All-Star Kawhi Leonard and a strong group of starters who helped Toronto go 58-24 and knock off top-seeded Milwaukee last week in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Golden State has had 10 days off since its four-game sweep of the Blazers in the Western Conference Finals, which was just enough time for All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to return from a torn left quad that sidelined him six weeks ago. Cousins, though, isn’t expected to have a huge role in the series, particularly at the outset.
The Raptors, who surround Leonard with four talented two-way players in guards Kyle Lowry and Danny Green, forward Pascal Siakam and center Marc Gasol, are making their first trip to the Finals. But, they shouldn’t be lacking confidence considering they swept both games against the Warriors in the regular season.
Leonard poured in 37 points in Toronto’s 131-128 overtime win over the Warriors at Scotiabank Arena on Nov. 29. The Warriors got a 51-point effort from Durant as they nearly pulled off the win despite not having either Stephen Curry or Draymond Green available to play that night. The Raptors then completed the sweep a couple of weeks later when Lowry scored 23 points and dished out 12 assists in a 113-93 thrashing of the Warriors even though Leonard missed the game and the Warriors were fully staffed. That Dec. 12 victory was Toronto’s first victory in Oakland since 2004.
The Warriors could have an edge if they live up to their “Strength in Numbers” moniker as the Raptors typically only use three players off the bench — Serge Ibaka and Norman Powell in the frontcourt and Fred Van Vleet in the backcourt. Former Warriors Patrick McCaw and Jeremy Lin will likely only see action in a lopsided game.
Toronto is looking to reverse a trend that’s seen it trail in each of its three Eastern Conference playoff series. After needing to erase series deficits against Orlando and Philadelphia, the Raptors saved their best for last as they won four straight against the Bucks after falling into a 2-0 series hole.
Game 2 of the best-of-7 series will be played Sunday night in Toronto.
Here are the projected starting lineups:
C Jordan BellPF Draymond GreenSF Andre IguodalaSG Klay ThompsonPG Stephen Curry
C Marc GasolPF Pascal SiakamSF Kawhi LeonardSG Danny GreenPG Kyle Lowry
BET ON THIS
Lowry and Gasol both playing with 5 PFs and 2:35 leftAnother hail mary lol…Just put your FVV comments in reply hereI need to start having children, clearly.Seems notable that the Warriors, whose defense has been bad all year and everyone said “they’ll turn it on when it matters” even as it was bad vs. THE BLAZERS has been badWhen the Spice hits ya hard 🌶️
There it isHow many shots has Steph taken in the 2H?Drake has spoken.Green sold it like a vet@HPbasketball Somehow maintaining that Raps halftime lead thru the third was UNREAL to watchUncharacteristic for Klay. He got T’d up for arguing his offensive foul call. It also looked like he inadvertently bumped the official.It’s odd to not feel like 11 is just two Warriors possessions. This feels like a legit deficit they can’t get past.a lot was made of lebron not playing the warriors in the finals but have we considered pascal siakam is better than lebronDray/Andre 4/15
Ugly shooting night.VanVleet is 4 of 6, so I think this is incorrect twitter.com/HPbasketball/s…Big time find 💪
Ticky tackIt’s spelled “defense.”
*ducksWarriors 38.2 percent shooting
Raptors 51.5 percent shootingIt’s crazy to me that for at least part of this game, Drake was courtside but Doris Burke was outside.Splash Brothers 12 of 30If you’ve had a rough day watch this…💪😏😍
The Raptors should have benched Danny Green, right? ;)Aint no other option who can shootSHOOTERS SHOOT
.@warriors down 12.
+810 odds to rally for win.Danny Green was 1-for-15 from deep over the last four games against Milwaukee. He’s 3-for-5 from deep tonightThey been the better team all night… Getting the bounces tooI wrote a little bit before about how Siakam is versatile like Draymond with absurd athleticism. It’s a frightening combination for a guy still learning. He’s been incredible.Finals Danny.
Make that 39-for-74 (53%).Extended out to a 10-1 run. 100-88Danny Green corner 3, Raptors up 100-88 with 7:31 left and even Lowry’s 5 PFs probably don’t worry too many as much as they shouldThe Raptors continue to ride the “team of destiny” waveLowry just runs to a spot to flop and draw charges.Kyle Lowry with the best 1-for-7 game in NBA Finals history (probably).Didn’t bring Steph back in the game after timeout…Siakam’s playoff career-high of 30 points originally came in Game 3 vs Orlando, when Kawhi was limited by the flu. With Kawhi limited again tonight, this time by the Warriors D, Pascal has 30 again. He’s hit 13 of his 15 shots, including 11 straight.Lead down to 3, Raptors answer with 6 straight. Siakim feastingTwo bad fouls on consecutive possessions for DeMarcus.SIAKAMVPI’m not sure you can call SIakam shot a sky hook but it was kinda sorta maybe like one
He’s got 30. 30 pointsNONE OF THAT
Lowry’s got 8 assists but he’s 1 of 7 but Siakam’s gonna save Raptors twitter from the narrative they despite more than any other@HPbasketball *When you wake from a seven month coma and turn on the TV*Toronto 94 GSW 87, 9:44 left..timeout Warriors, Raptors led by 9 Warriors cut it to 3…plenty of time remaining, I believe Curry will check back in“Pascal Siakam’s spin move” was literally a talking point for the first three months of the season, but sure, let’s introduce Pascal to NBA Twitter.
Wait, Toronto has a team? Names after Jurassic Park? When did they get rid of Dwane Casey? Where’s DeMar? Why does JV look fatThis big inflatable dancing Raptor is scaring meFitz somewhere screaming bout a missed corner 3 results in a layup every timeCook gotta hit that 3. Boogie got him a great look…McCaw 3 and that drive by FVV… Hail Marys getting answeredwho the hell does fvv think he is lolKawhi back in. Raptors were -2 in 1:51 without him. You can live with that, all things considered.Yessir, @JonasJerebko ❗️
I want Lowry to foul out because he had 4 points, 5 boards, 7 assists and now 4 fouls so I want it to be 4-5-6-7Warriors oRTG by playtype
First shot half court: 73.8
Off OREB: 187.5
Basically everything is coming off broken playsWarriors 4th Q unit is the same as the 2nd: Cook, Klay, Livingston, Jerebko and Cousins📸 | Views thru 3 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D73Si_lWkAAX_Wx.jpgSiakam Killin GSW… his 26 + Green 8 = Great Production for Raps. Both bouncing back from rough seriesFVV-Lowry-McCaw-Siakam-Ibaka vs Cook-Klay-Livingston-Jerebko-Boogie to start the 4th. Crucial stretch coming up as the Raptors try to buy Kawhi a couple minutes of rest (and Warriors do the same with Steph/Draymond).After three quarters, Game 1 live line
Raptors -5, o/u 222 Warriors +235 Raptors -300
Pascal Siakam MVP bettors a… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…Steph running off ball with 4
non-shooters on the floor with him.
Toronto 88 GSW 81 end of 3..GSW shot 10-20 in the 3rd..and Toronto 10 for 19..Curry has 26,Siakam the samefourth quarter, #DubNation
Raps lead after three quarters is down to seven. Pascal Siakam has found his NBA Finals rhythm and has 26, same number as Steph Curry. Kawhi had 10 in the third and now has 18.It feels that way because it’s not four Warriors loading up on LeBron and the Cavs praying to god the Warriors miss on the other endW’s get two deflections on defense… both go back to Toronto… possession ends with a McCaw 3 as shot clock expirres.To steal a phrase that Draymond loves to use, the Warriors are going to have to get this one out of the mud.Only lost the 3rd to GSW by 3, that’s a monstrous win by the Raptors who can get this to 15 by 8 minutes if they buckle down.Huge sequence there. McCaw drains an open 3 (great setup by Kawhi) on one end, Draymond misses an open 3 on the other. Raptors take a 7-point lead into the 4th.McCaw 3, like the drew it up!, bails out bad late possession but Raptors up 88-81 going into the fourth quarter
Siakam has 26, Curry has 26
Buckle up, this might get fun
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