Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Raptors rip injury-hit Warriors

Raptors rip injury-hit Warriors

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors attempts a shot against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on Wednesday in Oakland, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

Raptors rip injury-hit Warriors

Upstart Toronto moved halfway to a first-ever title on Wednesday with Kawhi Leonard scoring 30 points to lead the Raptors over the injury-hit Golden State Warriors 123-109 in the NBA Finals.

Kyle Lowry added 23 points and nine assists while Danny Green and Pascal Siakam each contributed 18 points as the Raptors seized a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, which continues on Friday in Oakland.

“It feels good,” Leonard said. “Just happy to get a game-three win and move us one step closer to our goal.”

Stephen Curry scored a career playoff high 47 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists for a defending champion Golden State squad playing without guard Klay Thompson due to a left hamstring strain and forward Kevin Durant with a right calf injury.

“Steph was unbelievable,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He does things I don’t think anybody has done before. He’s amazing.”

Green started 6-of-8 from 3-point range, sparking a late third-quarter run that gave Toronto momentum for good.

“Danny’s buckets I think boosted our whole team’s confidence because we’re used to most of the year relying on those,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

Golden State fell behind by as many as 14 points in the first half and pulled no closer than seven in the second half despite staying within reach thanks to Curry’s one-man heroics.

“We answered a lot of runs, down to seven a bunch, and came back and scored a bucket or hit a three or whatever,” Nurse said. “Each time they chipped we answered back and that’s what you got to do if you’re going to keep your lead.”

The Warriors seek a third straight crown and their fourth in five seasons while the Raptors are in the first finals of their 24-season history.

“We’ve got to continue to work and play hard,” Lowry said. “The guys were on me to be aggressive and I did play more aggressive in this atmosphere. It meant a lot.”

Golden State decided just before tip-off to bench Thompson, a five-time NBA All-Star who averages 19.5 points. The team feared he could injure himself worse and miss more games, hoping a game’s rest – even one that snapped his run of 120 career playoff games without a miss – would ensure his health the rest of the way.

“The whole point was to not risk a bigger injury,” Kerr said. “We live with that decision. He’s got another couple days to heal. Hopefully he’ll be out there Friday.”

The Warriors can’t afford to lose another player with Kevin Durant, averaging 34.2 points, uncertain for game four, and forward Kevon Looney out for the remainder of the finals with a chest injury.

Curry scored 25 first-half points, a career high for any finals half, but the Raptors led 60-52 at half-time, Toronto double-teaming the 3-point sharpshooter while his supporting cast struggled to equal his total.

The Raptors matched their biggest first-half lead at 66-52 early in the third quarter, but Curry had nine points and Andre Iguodala added eight in a 19-12 Warriors run to pull within 78-71.

Green answered with back-to-back 3-pointers and closed a 13-5 Raptors run with another to give the visitors their biggest lead of the first three quarters at 96-80.

Curry hit four free throws in a 9-0 run as Golden State pulled within 96-89.

Warriors defence lacking

But Lowry answered for Toronto by scoring nine points in a 15-5 run that gave the Raptors their largest lead to that point at 111-94 with 5:42 remaining and the Warriors’ final hopes faded.

“Toronto made big shots every time they need to,” Kerr said. “And we couldn’t get over the hump. We have to play better defence out there.”

The Warriors, playing their first home game in 20 days, struggled from the start.

“They outplayed us,” Kerr said. “Now we just got to bounce back and get back in here Friday and hopefully get a little healthier and get some guys back, but we’ll see how that goes.”

The Warriors scored 109 points for the third game in a row.

“I just knew we were going to score 109 points because that’s all we’re going to do the rest of this series,” Kerr said. “So if we’re going to keep scoring 109, we got to keep them to 108.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this