Raptors take 2-1 NBA Finals lead against Warriors


After conceding home court advantage in Game 2 in Toronto, the Raptors immediately regained it on a night where all five starters and the sixth man scored in double figures.

The Warriors were without Klay Thompson for the first time in any of this current dynasty’s playoff runs, and he was replaced in the starting lineup by Shaun Livingston.

As a result, Stephen Curry had to take the bulk of the offensive burden, scoring 47 points to finish as top scorer in the game and record a new playoff career-high for the two-time league MVP.

Kawhi Leonard scored 30 and Kyle Lowry notched 23 for the Raptors, who now lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Lowry also had a game-high nine assists.

The Warriors were able to cut the lead to as little as seven points at some stages but the Raptors always had an answer as sharpshooter Danny Green made six three-pointers and Serge Ibaka blocked six shots.

After blowing a double-digit lead in Game 2 only to regain another in the first half of Game 3, the Raptors were clinging to an 83-75 advantage in the final three minutes of the third period before Green bombed in back-to-back threes to expand the margin to 14.

Toronto went on to lead by as many as 16 in the period, the last time when Green nailed his third three-pointer of the period for a 96-80 advantage with 29.2 seconds remaining.

The Warriors, who had not played a home game in 20 days and had not lost at home since the first round of the postseason, never got closer than seven after that.

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Green finished with 18 points, with all his points coming on 6-of-10 shooting from three-point range. The six threes were his most this postseason, but one fewer than the seven he made twice in the postseason for the San Antonio Spurs in 2013 and 2014..

The Raptors shot 17-for-38 on three-point attempts overall, outscoring the Warriors 51-36 from beyond the arc.

Pascal Siakam (18 points, game-high nine rebounds) and Marc Gasol (17 points) also scored in double figures for Toronto, which was playing its first road game in 13 days.

Curry’s 47 points came on 14-of-31 shooting overall and 6-of-14 accuracy on three-point attempts. The 47 points topped his previous postseason best of 44 at San Antonio in 2013.

Stephen Curry left everything out on the court for the Warriors during Game 3

Curry also found time for team highs in rebounds with eight and assists with seven.

Without Thompson (hamstring) and Durant (heel), both of whom might return for Game 4, the Warriors’ supporting cast could do no better than 17 points from Draymond Green and 11 from Andre Iguodala.

The Warriors were outshot 52.4 per cent to 39.6 per cent overall.

The Raptors wasted little time taking advantage of their short-handed foe, running off to a 17-7 lead behind 10 combined points from Siakam and Gasol.

Despite 25 points by Curry, the most he has ever scored in a half in an NBA Finals game, Toronto led by as many as 14 in the first two periods before settling into a 60-52 advantage at the break.

They never relinquished their grip in the second half, outscoring their opponents by a further six points across the final 24 minutes and a rainbow three-pointer by Fred VanVleet with 1:37 remaining put the game out of reach.

The Raptors are trying to win a first NBA title while the Warriors, winners of three of the last four championships, are attempting to cement their legacy as one of the sport’s greatest dynasties.

Game 4 takes place in Oakland in the early hours of Saturday morning (2am)


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