The Toronto Raptors were looking to beat the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night. The two teams split the first two games. Afterwards, the Raptors won Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead against the Warriors.
However, as impressive as that Game 3 win was, the Warriors were missing Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney. Well, both of those players suited for the Warriors in this one. So, with that in mind, could the Raptors beat the Warriors in Game 4? Early on, the Raptors looked absolutely horrific. In fact, they scored just 17 points in the first period, missing on 15 of their first 21 attempts.
But despite how poorly they played in the first half, the Raptors trailed by a slim four-point margin at the break. Playing in what could be their last home game at Oracle Arena, fans were waiting for a third-quarter explosion.
Unfortunately, it would be the Raptors that provided the fireworks. In fact, the Raptors outscored the Warriors to the tune of 37-21. As a result, the Raptors turned a four-point deficit into a 12-point advantage. And as they had done in Game 3, the Raptors withstood every Golden State rally down the stretch.
And when it was all said and done, the Raptors beat the Warriors in Game 4 by a 105-92 margin. As a result, they now lead this Finals series 3-1. Klay Thompson paced the Warriors with 28 points on 11-for-18 shooting. Meanwhile, Stephen Curry chipped in with 27 points but shot just 9-for-22 from the field.
On the other side, Kawhi Leonard paced the Raptors attack with 36 points, including 17 in the game-changing third quarter. Leonard also tallied 12 rebounds, four steals, and two assists. Additionally, both Pascal Siakam (19 points) and Kyle Lowry (10 points) scored in double figures as well.
Although Leonard had a great outing the one other Raptors player that stepped up big time was Serge Ibaka. You see, Ibaka scored a combined total of 18 points in the first three games. But in Game 4, however, he scored 20 points and shot a ridiculous 5-for-6 on contested shot attempts.
All in all, few expected the Raptors to be competitive in this Finals series. On top of that, few expected the Raptors to beat the Warriors in Game 4. Now, the Raptors are just one win away from doing what was once thought to be impossible. Yes, the return of Kevin Durant is still looming. But even if KD does return next game, it may be too little too late.