Toronto Raptors win Game 3 of NBA Finals

By: AP June 06,2019 - 11:39 AM

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dribbles past Golden State Warriors forward Alfonzo McKinnie in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. | AP photo

OAKLAND, California  — Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Kyle Lowry kept finding answers for every big shot by Stephen Curry and the beat-up Warriors, and the Toronto Raptors grabbed a pivotal road win in the NBA Finals by beating Golden State 123-109 on Wednesday night (Thursday morning, Philippine time) for a 2-1 series lead.

Curry scored a playoff career-best 47 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists, but couldn’t do it all for the two-time defending champions, down starters Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson and key backup big man Kevon Looney because of injuries.

Leonard scored 30 points, Lowry contributed 23 with five 3-pointers and Green had 18 points with six 3s after Pascal Siakam got the Raptors rolling early as Toronto shot 52.4 percent and made 17 from deep.

Splash Thompson missed his first career playoff game after straining his left hamstring late in Game 2, while Looney is out the rest of the series after a cartilage fracture on his right side near the collarbone that also happened Sunday. Durant, a two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP, is still out because of a strained right calf.

Golden State hopes to get healthier by Game 4 on Friday night back at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors trailed 96-83 going into the final quarter then Curry’s three free throws at 10:37 made it a seven-point game before back-to-back baskets by Serge Ibaka.

Siakam scored 18 points and established the momentum for Toronto from the tip, hitting his first three shots and setting a tone for a defensive effort that stayed solid without the foul problems that plagued the Raptors in Game 2.

Golden State greatly missed not only Thompson’s touch from outside but also his stifling defense.

Raptors coach Nick Nurse challenged his team to produce more defensive stops in order to get out in transition — “make them miss more,” he said. Ibaka produced six blocked shots in the effort.

“We’re at a point in the series we’ve got to get out and guard these dudes,” Nurse said.

Curry shot 14 for 31 including 6 of 14 on 3s while making 13 of 14 free throws in his sixth career 40-point playoff performance.

Nurse pulled out a box-and-one to try to stymie Curry in Golden State’s 109-104 Game 2 win, then the Raptors made Curry’s short-handed supporting cast try to beat them this time — and it sure worked.

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TAGS: 2019 NBA Finals, game 3, Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors

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