Toronto Raptors Won their First NBA Championship with Game 6 Victory over Warriors
The Toronto Raptors had more length, more depth and more athleticism than anyone imagined when the N.B.A. finals began.
The Raptors used all of that — as well as their far superior health — to close down Oracle Arena and close out the N.B.A.’s two-time reigning champions Thursday night with a 114-110 Game 6 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors were presumed to possess the emotional advantage coming in, playing their final game at Oracle and dedicating the evening to their superstar forward Kevin Durant
who was on the other side of the country after undergoing major surgery Wednesday.
But Toronto just had too much — especially after Golden State lost the All-Star guard Klay Thompson for the entire fourth quarter after he injured his knee.
The Warriors later announced that Thompson had torn the A.C.L. in his left knee.
Three Raptors, remarkably, outscored or tied Kawhi Leonard in the clincher: Kyle Lowry delivered 11 of his 26 points in the game’s first two-plus minutes.
Pascal Siakam added 26 points and 10 rebounds of his own, while the undrafted Fred VanVleet made five of Toronto’s 13 3-pointers to finish with 22 points — 12 of which came in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors came in desperate to win for the fallen Durant and exit their threadbare but cherished home arena of 47 years in triumph. The hosts instead fell to a stunning 0-3 at home in these finals.
In their first game since Durant suffered a torn right Achilles’ tendon, they proved helpless to prevent Leonard from joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players in league history to win finals M.V.P. honors with two different teams.
Thompson made both free throws to finish with a game-high 30 points, expanding his reputation for playoff heroics as “Game 6 Klay,” but he was ruled out from a return early in the fourth quarter with the Warriors clinging to a 91-88 lead.
He ended up leaving Oracle with the aid of pair of crutches, just as Durant had exited Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena a few days before.
Without Durant or Thompson, Golden State managed to hang in until the end.
But a missed 3-pointer in the final minute from the right wing by Stephen Curry (21 points), after what appeared to be a costly turnover by Toronto’s Green, was the two-time reigning champions’ last shot.
A scramble for the ball following Curry’s missed shot left less than a second on the clock, and after Golden State was assessed a technical foul for calling a timeout it did not have
a move that was at best a stalling tactic as they would have lost had the clock not stopped there.
There was a long delay and a great deal of confusion, but eventually Leonard hit the technical free-throw and then got two more after a foul on the inbounds, ending the game.