They needed to do it, and they did it. Toronto absolutely needed to capitalize on the biggest opportunity they were going to get all series. Golden State was missing Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant at home. With the NBA Finals tied at one, Toronto needed to win at least one game in California if they had any hopes of winning this series. Steph Curry threw literally everything he possibly could at the Raptors, but it wasn’t enough. Toronto won the game 123-109 on the back of Kawhi’s 30 points and 23 points and nine assists from Kyle Lowry.
Some good news and some bad news on the injury front for the Golden State Warriors ahead of Game 4. On the bad side, Kevin Durant has been ruled out for Friday’s game. This came as kind of a surprise as he has been reportedly practicing with teammates and seemed to be on the right track. The timeline that was reported was always around Game 3 or 4 as well.
Many of the Warriors, along with their fans, seem to be confused as to what is going on with Durant. On Thursday, Draymond Green told reporters “I’m not really sure if he’s been held out or he is — I mean, obviously, I think he’s still recovering and whatever, but, yeah, I don’t really know what’s Kevin’s day-to-day dealings with the training staff. I try to spend as less time in the training room as I can. So I don’t really know what their back and forth is.” Head coach Steve Kerr is still optimistic that Durant will be able to get back into the starting lineup before the end of the series.
The good news, however, is that Klay Thompson should be good to go for Friday’s game. According to Kerr, “barring something unforeseen,” Thompson will be suiting up for Game 4. With Thompson missing Game 3, it marked the first time he has ever missed a postseason game in his career. In the last seven seasons, Thompson played 120 games in the playoffs. Klay coming back will be a nice injection of scoring that the Warriors missed outside of Curry in Game 3. Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala were the only other players to have double-digit points for Golden State on Wednesday.
The Raptors did something that not many teams can say they did: Beat the Warriors in the playoffs on the road. The Warriors are almost unstoppable at home in the postseason. In the last three years, they had only lost on home court three times. Eleven total playoff series and three losses at home. It’s going to be hard to ask the Raptors to do that two straight times, something that has only been done once since the inception of the Curry-Thompson-Green dynasty.
A good way to start would be to have a repeat offensive performance. Six players had double-digit points for Toronto in Game 3. They shot better than Golden State, had more assists, steals and blocks, and only one less rebound. If they want any chance to win, they’ll need to be near perfect yet again.
History just isn’t on the Raptors side here. With Klay back, the Splash Bros. will be back in full swing. The Warriors aren’t letting this series get out of hand that quickly. Take the Warriors.
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