Even with several of their players banged up, the Golden State Warriors managed to defeat the Toronto Raptors 109-104 in Game 2 of the NBA finals.
DeMarcus Cousins drew the start in this game despite being not much of a factor in Game 1. The big man, who just recovered from a partially torn left quad, was instrumental in the win as he posted 11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocks. He’s still not 100 percent yet but his presence in the paint was enough to make both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka work overtime on the defensive end to slow him down.
Klay Thompson bounced back from a lackluster showing in Game 1 and got off to a hot start on Sunday night and led the Warriors with 25 points, five rebounds, five assists and four 3-pointers. Unfortunately, the Warriors lost him midway into the fourth quarter as he was ruled out for the remainder of the game with left hamstring tightness.
Thompson’s absence was the opening the Raptors, who had been trailing for a good portion of the game, were hoping to find. They ramped up their defense with a four-and-one box, which proved to be effective in slowing down Stephen Curry, who ended up with 23 points three boards, four assists, three steals and three treys. The Warriors failed to score for almost four minutes, which allowed the Raptors to catch up.
The game went down the wire. Kawhi Leonard was missing shots and Cousins was effective in grabbing the rebounds. Kyle Lowry fouled out at the 3:52 minute mark. Leonard managed to pick up a bit of the slack, but needed a trip to the free throw line to put up points on the board. He lived at the line in this game, making 16-of-16 shots from the stripe and posted another great game with 34 points and 14 rebounds. Kawhi has been playing like the best player in the world as of late and he’s been carrying the Raptors on his shoulders.
As time winded down Danny Green hit a clutch 3-pointer to put the Raptors to within one, 106-014. However, Andre Iguodala quickly answered with a go-ahead three of his own with 7.0 seconds left on the clock.
The Warriors barely managed to hold on for the win. If Pascal Siakam, who was disappointing with 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting, played better or at least closer to how he performed in Game 1, the Raptors may have been up 2-0.
The NBA Finals now heads to the Bay Area on June 5th, where the Warriors are hoping to carve out a 2-1 lead in Game 3. Good news for them is that Klay said after the game that he’s not expecting to miss the game and that Kevin Durant may just be able to take to the court again.