Written by Nathasha De Alwis
14 Jun, 2019 | 10:37 am
The Toronto Raptors became the first Canadian team to win an NBA title with a 114-110 Game Six victory over the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors.
With a nation hanging on their every shot, Canada’s only NBA team put the finishing touches to a remarkable 4-2 series upset that denied the Warriors a fourth championship in five years.
When the final buzzer sounded, jubilant Raptors fans flooded the streets of downtown Toronto for a night of celebration not seen in the city since Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays last won a World Series title in 1993.
In their best Bay Area version of Jurassic Park — Toronto’s jam-packed gathering spot to cheer the Raptors — hundreds of red-clad fans stayed long after the game ended to watch the Larry O’Brien trophy ceremony. They waved the Maple Leaf and sang “O Canada” just as they did here after winning previously this series.
Toronto’s most famous fan, rapper Drake, was captured on video enthusiastically celebrating the win.
Despite playing against a more playoff-seasoned opponent, the Raptors proved unflappable throughout the series and whenever the Warriors looked set to seize momentum Toronto would use some smart passes and precise shooting to maintain control.
Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard, who arrived in a blockbuster trade with the San Antonio Spurs last July, was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
“Last summer I was going through a lot,” said Leonard, who last season was limited to nine games due to a quadriceps injury.
Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam each had 26 points for Toronto while sharp-shooting Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who left the game with an injury in the third quarter, had 30 points.
Toronto’s win denied Australian centre Andrew Bogut a second NBA title, and sends the Warriors into an offseason of uncertainty given some of their top players are eligible to become free agents.
* The original article appeared on www.abc.net.au
01 Aug, 2019 | 06:30 AM
19 Jun, 2019 | 03:32 PM
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