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2019 NBA Finals -- Warriors tie series with huge Game 2 win


PhilBoxing.com





TORONTO -- With their backs pushed against the wall, the two-time defending champions Golden State Warriors unleashed an 18-0 run to open the third quarter and used it as the engine that powered their 109-104 Game 2 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night (Monday morning RP time) at the Scotiabank Arena.

Klay Thompson and Steph Curry did not explode in a way that defines their Splash Brother image, combining for just 48 points. But the All-Star duo, the cornerstones of Golden State's dynastic reign, got plenty of help from a veteran cast that have been through the ups and downs of playoffs basketball.

Draymond Green, the team's emotional leader, barely missed a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Quinn Cook sank three big triples while Andre Iguodala added eight points, including the dagger 3 that put away the Raptors for good in the final 5.9 seconds.

DeMarcus Cousins also made a giant impact. Inserted into the starting lineup after missing 14 playoffs games due to a quad injury, the 6-foot-11, 270-pound center tallied 11 points, 10 boards and six dimes while helping guard the paint from Raptor intruders.

"He was special," Curry told reporters about Cousins. Obviously, you get more comfortable, more minutes and playing aggressive when he's out there, puts a lot of pressure on their defense. And even on our defensive end, making his presence felt, blocking shots, being at the right place at the right time. It is a a big lift for us."

Draymond Green barely missed a triple-double with 17, 10 and 9. DeMarcus Cousins was inserted in the starting lineup and finished with 11, 10 and 6. Quinn Cook three big 3s while Andre Igoudala added eight points, including the dagger 3 in the final seconds.

Kawhi Leonard led Toronto with 34 points and 14 rebounds, and when he sank two free throws that gave the Raptors a 12-point lead in the third quarter, it appeared as though Toronto was about to blow Game 2 wide open.

And then came the horrendous third quarter start in which they missed their first eight field goals and committed five turnovers. The Raptors drought allowed the Warriors to turn a 59-54 deficit into a 72-59 lead.

Leonard reflected on that horror sequence during his post-game press conference.

"Oh, I feel like in that third quarter, we didn't score the ball in like the first five minutes, four and a half minutes, obviously led them to getting out in transition early and a lot of layups and open looks, and that was pretty much the game right there. Went on like 15, 18-0 run, I believe, and you can't do that with a championship team on the other side."

The Raptors made only 35 of 94 shots (37.2 percent), including an 11 for 38 fare from 3-point distance (28.9 percent). The Warriors, in contrast, hit 38 of 82 from the field (46.3 percent) and 13 of 34 from three-point range (38.2 percent).

After combining 52 points in Game 1, Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol only had 18 points between them in Game 2. Fred VanVleet was spectacular once again, finishing with 17 off the bench, but Kyle Lowry struggled with just 4-for-11 from the field for 13 points to go with his six fouls and two turnovers.

"I think we're in a good place," said Lowry, unfazed of what appeared to be a game the Raptors let slip away.

Game 3 of this best-of-7 title showdown takes place on Thursday morning (RP Time) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, home of the Warriors.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Andrew Schroeder.


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