Basketball Article

Raptors on cusp of NBA glory after road win

Raptors on cusp of NBA glory after road win Photo: TT
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives between Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and guard Klay Thompson (11) during the second half of Game 4 of basketball’s NBA Finals, Friday, June 7, 2019, in Oakland

The Toronto Raptors have taken a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals after a 105-92 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game Four at Oakland’s Oracle Arena on Friday night.

The result means the Raptors return to Toronto with the opportunity to secure the NBA Finals title on their home court.

Toronto simply needs to win one of the remaining three NBA Finals, including two at Scotiabank Arena to secure the title.

In the history of the NBA Finals, teams that have led 3-1 having gone on to lift the title 33 times out of 34.

Kawhi Leonard was outstanding again with 36 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors.

Serge Ibaka produced a key contribution with 20 points from only 22 minutes court-time, while Pascal Siakam added 19 points.

The Warriors were without Kevin Durant again while Klay Thompson returned from injury to play 42 minutes and top score with 28 points.

Stephen Curry managed 27 points for the Warriors but his impact was limited, with Draymond Green only scoring 10 points, with nine rebounds and 12 assists.

Raptors coach Nick Nurse hailed Leonard for his impact, including two three-pointers to start the third quarter, which set the tone.

“I know Kawhi’s two big threes to start the half really I thought changed the whole feel of everybody,” Nurse said.

“I just thought everybody was like, okay, man, we know we are here, let’s go, and we just kind of kept going from those two threes.”

Game Five will take place in Toronto on Monday.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer
@bensomerford

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