Toronto Raptors centre Serge Ibaka (9) dunks during second half basketball action against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Oakland, California on Friday, June 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Toronto Raptors centre Serge Ibaka (9) dunks during second half basketball action against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Oakland, California on Friday, June 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Raptors a win away from NBA title after beating Warriors 105-92

Game 5 of final series goes Monday in Toronto

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Toronto Raptors are one win away from their first NBA championship in the team’s 24-year history.

Kawhi Leonard scored 17 of his 36 points in the third quarter to lead to Raptors to a gritty 105-92 come-from-behind victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday.

The Raptors, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-1, can capture the Larry O’Brien Trophy on home court at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.

Leonard also hauled down a team-high 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who are making their Finals debut. Serge Ibaka added 20 points for the Raptors, who took control with a massive third quarter. Pascal Siakam chipped in with 19 points, while Kyle Lowry had 10 points and seven assists.

Klay Thompson, who sat out Game 3 with a hamstring injury, had 28 points to top the two-time defending champion Warriors, who are making their fifth consecutive Finals appearance. Stephen Curry, who had a playoff career-high 47 points on Wednesday, scored 27.

Kevon Looney also returned for Golden State after it was previously announced he was out for the remainder of the series with a rib injury.

Trailing by as many as 11 points in the first half, the Raptors roared back with 37 points in the third, outscoring the Warriors by 16 points in the frame. Leonard had two straight threes to kick-start the quarter, then Marc Gasol’s jumper 1:29 into the quarter gave Toronto its first lead since early in the first quarter. The Raptors led 79-67 to start the fourth.

READ MORE: Raptors beat Warriors 123-109 to take 2-1 lead in NBA Finals

Leonard drilled a three with 8:44 to play to stretch Toronto’s advantage to 16 points. A Curry three-pointer capped a 13-6 Warriors run that sliced the Raptors’ lead to just eight with 2:56 to play. But Siakam made two free throws and then drilled a two before Lowry drove for a layup and the Raptors went back up by 14, sending hundreds of Warriors fans to the exits.

Siakam scored on a mid-range jumper with 52 seconds left, prompting a roaring “Let’s go Raptors!” chant from the Toronto fans in attendance.

Fred VanVleet, who had eight points on the night, took a massive elbow to the face from Shaun Livingston — and lost a tooth in the process — a couple of minutes into the fourth, and was bleeding profusely before he was helped off the court and to the locker-room. VanVleet received seven stitches but passed concussion protocol and returned to the bench.

The Raptors are 8-0 in playoff games in which Ibaka scores 10 or more points.

The Raptors acquired Leonard, Gasol and Danny Green in their quest for their first NBA championship. If there’s been one common character trait throughout the team in their historic post-season ability, it’s their ability to keep level-headed through both the highs and lows.

Asked in his pre-game availability whether the Game 4 pressure was on Toronto or Golden State, Raptors coach Nick Nurse told the media: “That’s probably up for you guys to decide.

“Again, whether we’re up 2-1 or down 2-1, or down 2-0 or blah, blah, blah, we haven’t really talked about the score of the series at all the entire playoffs,” Nurse said. “We have tried to just isolate every game.

“We know they’re all critical, right? I guess all I know is you need to win four, and you can’t win four until you win three, I think, if my math is good there … Take them one at a time.”

The teams split the two games in Toronto, then the Raptors captured Wednesday’s game in Oakland 123-109, a contest that saw all five starters score at least 17 points for just the second time in NBA history (Houston did the same in 1995).

Pockets of Raptors fans dotted Oracle Arena, at times breaking into chants of “Let’s go Raptors!” and “M-V-P!” when Leonard went to the line.

The Raptors rewarded the travelling fans with a win.

The star-studded Oracle Arena crowd included rappers Common, Snoop Dogg and E-40, comedian Dave Chappelle, actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lilly Singh and Jesse Williams, and filmmaker George Lucas.

Burlington, Ont., Indie band Walk off the Earth performed “O Canada,” drawing mixed reviews on social media, while Ne-Yo performed the U.S. anthem. Hip-hop dance group Jabbawockeez provided the halftime entertainment.

Leonard had 14 points in the first quarter, but Raptors baskets were otherwise in short supply. The Raptors missed their first four shots before Leonard ended the drought three-and-a-half minutes into the game. Looney tipped in a shot to give the Warriors an 11-point lead with 53 seconds left in the first. The Raptors closed the quarter with a mini 5-0 run and Golden State took a 23-17 lead into the second.

Toronto held the Warriors’ offence down in the second quarter, pulling to within three points on a pair of free throws by Lowry. The Warriors went into the halftime break up 46-42.

The two teams were a combined 4-for-30 from three-point range through the first half. Leonard had Toronto’s two threes, while Thompson scored twice for the Warriors.

A Game 6, if necessary, would be back in Oakland. Game 7, if needed, would be in Toronto.

READ MORE: Do the Raptors belong to Toronto or all of Canada?

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

NBA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The District of Lake Country saw its number of overdose calls double in 2020 over the previous year. (Black Press file photo)
Overdose calls doubled in Lake Country in 2020: report

The district’s protective services annual report shows there were 47 overdose calls last year

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Vernon husband and wife Jan (top) and Ken Waldon (with B.C. Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin), were among 44 provincial recipients of the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Medal for volunteerism. The awards were presented at a special ceremony earlier in September in Victoria. (Government House Victoria photos)
Fintry heritage site champion loses battle with illness

Ken Waldon was the leading proponent behind the creation of Friends of the Fintry Provincial Park Society

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to Stoney and Minnie lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

RCMP search the vehicle after pouring out what appeared to be alcohol, onto the highway. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
UPDATE: Kelowna woman arrested after alleged erratic driving, suspected impairment

RCMP say no injuries reported and investigation is ongoing

About 50 people gathered Friday, March 5, 2021 in Penticton to protest city council’s decision to close a temporary winter shelter. (Jesse Day - Western News)
WATCH: Protest over Penticton shelter draws large crowd

People are gathering in Gyro Park to protest the closure of a winter shelter

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, normally held in August, was denied a grant due to COVID. (File photo)
COVID makes some of the 2021 grant decisions for Princeton council

Municipality doles out funds while striving to meet policy

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Most Read