Pascal Siakam showed class scoring his career playoff-best 32 points and added eight rebounds and five assists as the Toronto Raptors beat Golden State Warriors 118-109 in the opening game of the NBA Finals.
Kawhi Leonard added 23 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors, who will host Game 2 in the early hours of Monday morning as they compete in their first NBA Finals.
Marc Gasol scored 20 points and had seven rebounds for the Raptors before fouling out with 1:14 to play. Fred VanVleet added 15 points and Danny Green contributed 11 points.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 34 points, Klay Thompson added 21 points and Draymond Green had a triple-double 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Toronto took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter. Kyle Lowry, who had seven points, six rebounds and nine assists, took his fifth personal foul with 8:11 remaining and the Raptors leading by nine. Green’s three-pointer had the lead up to 12 with 7:32 to go.
The Raptors led 25-21 after one quarter. Warriors took a 41-40 lead on Thompson’s three-pointer with 5:37 remaining in the second quarter.
The Warriors took a 41-40 lead on Thompson’s three-pointer with 5:37 remaining in the second quarter.
The Warriors were without the injured Kevin Durrant, got to within eight points in the fourth quarter but the Raptors held on.
Head coach Steve Kerr, who has guided his team to their fifth consecutive Finals, said: “Their defence was great and it wasn’t our best night, but we just got outplayed, simple as that. Move on to the next one.”
Gasol’s lay-up had the Raptors back in the lead by one and Siakam’s three-pointer put them ahead by four.Danny Green’s three-pointer gave Toronto 59-49 half-time lead.
Gasol led the first-half scoring with 14 points as the Raptors shot 50 per cent from the field. Curry had 13 points for the Warriors, who shot 36.6 per cent.
The Raptors led by 12 early in the third quarter, but the Warriors chipped back to within six on Thompson’s triple. Siakam’s lay-up after Leonard’s steal on Curry’s turnover restored the 10-point lead with 6:55 remaining in the third.
After Golden State pulled to within four, former Warrior Patrick McCaw hit a three-pointer to close the third-quarter scoring and give Toronto an 88-81 lead.
Photo: USA Today
By Olukayode Oniwinde