June 5, 2019
Toronto defeated the defending champions on the road to take a 2-1 lead of the series. Kawhi Leonard had 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Kyle Lowry showed up tonight with 23 points on 8-16 night and 9 assists. Serge Ibaka looked like his old OKC Thunder self and defending the rim with 6 blocks, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.
They outscored the Warriors in all four quarters despite Steph Curry’s huge 47 points. They took advantage of the injuries of Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. Kay is still questionable for the next game. His presence (Thompson) was missed both offensively and defensively.
Game 4 will be played on Friday.
Terrio’s Take: I’m a fan of Steph and it’s amazing to see the Warriors go to five straight finals. However, I’m a fan of the underdog. Toronto winning will cement Kawhi as one of the top three players in the NBA along with Curry and James. I think if Toronto wins, there is a good chance that Kawhi stays. it would also make the management look good with the decisions of trading for Kawhi (despite it being a free agent year) and trading away fan favorite DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs. Along with firing coach of the year Dwayne Casey. Kyle Lowry the longest tenured Raptor will finally achieved the dream that has alluded him the past three seasons due to LeBron James and the Cavs.
For Golden State, the return of Klay will light a fire in Game 4. They will be playing with home court advantage so it’s possible for the Warriors to even up the series. The question will be if he is 100% and if Demarcus Cousins shows up after a weak game 3. The Warriors bench is the problem which was deep years ago, but is weaker than the Raptors bench. Then there is Kevin Durant. If they win the championship, does he stay? Does Klay go? If they lose, does he stay or go? I have the feeling it doesn’t matter either way and I see Durant leaving. After all he has to prove he can do it with his own team, this is still Curry’s team.
With that being said I think with their momentum, deeper bench, and desire the Raptors will take game 4 and may end up winning the championship in Toronto. This may be the extinction event for the Warriors with the western conference getting stronger this past season.