Published: Sun, June 09, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Raptors One Win Away from National Basketball Association title

Raptors One Win Away from National Basketball Association title

A 37-point third quarter by Toronto -- with 17 of those coming from Leonard -- proved to be the difference in Game 4.

A stunning display to open the third quarter - Leonard opened the scoring with a 3-pointer over Draymond Green, then stole the ball from Green, dribbled it up and made a second 3-pointer over his outstretched arm - erased that deficit in a span of 16 seconds, and it gave Toronto its first lead of the game.

Fans of the Toronto Raptors were out in force Friday night in Halifax to cheer and celebrate as the team increased its lead in the National Basketball Association finals.

Green delivered another impressive all-around performance with 10 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds, two blocks and a steal. "We win one, then we'll build on that". "We got to - we can draw on those experiences that we had back in the day and see what happens".

Golden State played again without standout forward Kevin Durant, who remains a possibility to return from a calf injury in game five.

After all, the Clippers offered two max cap slots (meaning they could sign another superstar), a young roster that lost its best player to a midseason trade and still made a playoff run, as well as the opportunity to play in his hometown. Stephen Curry added 27 points but shot just 9 for 22 and 2 of 9 from 3-point range on the heels of his postseason career-best 47-point outing in a 123-109 Game 3 defeat. Golden State was in good form in the first quarter in front of a wild home crowd, but it all changed when Toronto took charge after the break which started with a Fred VanVleet 3-pointer on the first possession.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr praised both Thompson and Kevon Looney, who played in Game 4 despite dealing with a fracture near his collarbone. But you've just got to dig deep. Toronto scored just 17 points in the opening frame (with 14 from Leonard) while Golden State's defense appeared markedly improved from Game 3, holding the Raptors to a 6-of-21 start.

"The mindset is let's make sure there's two more games here (and not just the one on Friday)", Kerr had said before the game. "You look at the series, you look at the games and at some point everyone, it's like having a vehicle". In the end, this cost the Warriors big time. He's either going to play or he's not. That he missed Game 3 with a hamstring injury and was expected to be in the lineup for Game 4 figured to goose Golden State's stopping power.

The Warriors cut the Raps' lead to as low as eight on multiple occasions, but the Dinos were able to counter every run to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.

The Raptors are now on the brink of history, aiming for their first title in the franchise's 24-season history, while the Warriors are looking to claim their third consecutive title and fourth in the past five seasons.

Like this: