The Golden State Warriors were able to get a key split from the opening two games in Toronto of the 2019 NBA Finals on Sunday. Klay Thompson led the Warriors attack with 25 points as the Warriors beat the Raptors 109-104 to tie the best out of seven series at one game apiece. The Warriors entered the series heavy favorites, but the Raptors’ Game 1 win, combined with Kevin Durant’s injury, started to create some doubt. Still, the Warriors showed why they are one of the best NBA bets, in Game 2, and are once again favorites to bring home their fourth title in five seasons.
However even though Thompson was Golden State’s leading scorer on Sunday, he did not finish the game. That is because he suffered a hamstring injury in the second half.
Where the Warriors took control of the contest was late in the second quarter and early in the third quarter. With 1:03 left in the first half, the Raptors had a 58-48 lead. But Stephen Curry made two key field goals and made two free throws, to pull the Warriors to within five points at halftime.
Toronto got absolutely dominated in the middle of the second and third quarters, as Golden State went on a 24-1 run late in the second through the seven-minute mark of the third. The Warriors began the third quarter on a 17-0 run, despite Kevon Looney going down with an injury, and Andrew Bogut in the game in his place. The Warriors dominance in this period of the game was a combination of the Raptors just going ice cold offensively, and the Warriors shooting the basketball with the same ultraconfidence that is the reason why they have won four of the last five NBA Finals.
And the Warriors took some time to chirp about it after the game. Injured Warriors Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson began greeting their teammates on their way to the locker room, when they saw Drake in the tunnel. That’s when KD began trolling the hell out of the rapper, with Klay joining in as well.
“Weren’t talking tonight were ya? With your bum a*s.”
— Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) June 3, 2019
The Warriors have defied the laws of, well, everything, showing their championship mettle in fighting through injuries to be back in the driver’s seat in the NBA Finals, now in position to win their fourth title in five seasons.
Literally all of Golden State’s normal starting five — err, Hamptons Five — are banged up or ailing. Stephen Curry was fighting through illness, Andre Iguodala has been playing through a leg injury, Kevin Looney left the game with a chest contusion, while fellow Splash Bro Klay Thompson left the game in the third quarter with a hamstring strain and Kevin Durant remains injured with a calf issue.
But the Warriors still got it done, getting huge contributions from their role players in the win.
And that’s why DeMarcus Cousins, who also was banged up until recently returning from a torn quadricep, shared this funny photo of the Warriors players in wheelchairs on Instagram.
Boogie and Iggy got jokes 🤣 pic.twitter.com/MAA3lTggqZ
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 3, 2019
There is no doubt that the Warriors are missing the offensive and defensive capabilities of Kevin Durant. However on Sunday, they were able to show that they could win without the two-time NBA Finals most valuable player, as well as with other key players significantly compromised. Golden State was able to return to a transition-type style of game and at the same time deliver with solid defense as the Raptors made several bad decisions in shooting the basketball.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr should also be ecstatic with the outstanding shot making from beyond the arc from backup point guard Quinn Cook. On three separate occasions, Cook delivered a three point shot.
Game three of the series is Wednesday in Northern California, and this injured Warriors team appears fired up and ready to show the Raptors who the true champions are.