2019 NBA Finals: Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors
The Finals Stat, Game 3: Raptors' offense burns Thompson-less Warriors
OAKLAND — The Toronto Raptors are two wins away from their first ever NBA championship. Taking advantage of the absences of Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, the Raptors trailed for only 16 seconds of Game 3 of The Finals and outlasted the Golden State Warriors for a 123-109 victory on Wednesday.
The Raptors survived a career playoff-high 47 points from Stephen Curry, in part because Warriors not named Curry shot just 37 percent, including 10-for-37 (27 percent) from outside the restricted area.
One stat stood out from the rest as the Raptors took a 2-1 series lead and regained home-court advantage in the series, with Game 4 at Oracle Arena on Friday (9 ET, ABC)
|OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions
OREB% = % of available offensive rebounds obtained
36 — Points scored by the Raptors in both the first and third quarters.
The third – 36 points on 24 possessions (1.50 per) – and first – 36 points on 25 possessions (1.44 per) – are the most efficient offensive quarters for either team in this series so far.
The Raptors came out hot, scoring 19 points on their first 11 possessions of the game, with all five starters putting points on the board. And with Kawhi Leonard getting to the line and Danny Green hitting a couple of big threes, it didn’t matter that Curry was going bonkers on the other end of the floor, and the Raptors led by seven after the opening period.
And after a relatively ugly second quarter on both ends of the floor (47 combined points on 51 possessions) the Raptors had another huge quarter coming out of halftime.
It was the end of the quarter where they did their most damage, scoring 18 points over an eight-possession stretch, with Green (three more 3-pointers) and Leonard (four more free throws) combining for 16 of the 18.
With another efficient stretch (17 points on 10 possessions) in the fourth quarter, the Raptors led by as many as 17 points before holding on for a 14-point win. They finished with 123 points on 99 possessions (124.2 per 100), the most efficient game the Warriors have allowed in 13 Finals games at Oracle Arena over the last five years.
The Raptors did have an extensive drought in the second quarter, scoring just once on a span of 14 possessions. But the Warriors only managed to cut seven points off the lead over those seven minutes, and the Raptors still managed to win the period. In fact, they won all four quarters on Wednesday and have now won 10 of the 12 quarters in the series.
In Game 3, the Raptors had six players in double-figures for just the third time in their 21 playoff games. Leonard led the way with 30 points (including 15 in the third quarter), but he had plenty of help.
Kyle Lowry scored more points (23) than he had in Games 1 and 2 combined (20). He was 7-for-12 from outside the paint, with a couple of big jumpers in the final period.
Green finished 6-for-10 from 3-point range, and his 18 points were the most he’s scored in these playoffs. The Raptors’ 17 total 3-pointers are tied for the third most in a Finals game in NBA history.
You could make a strong argument that the Warriors missed Thompson more on defense than they did on offense. He was the Warriors’ primary defender on Leonard in the second half of Game 2 before he suffered his strained hamstring.
Draymond Green was Leonard’s primary defender in Game 3 and looked like the best defender in the world at times. But other Warriors were a step slow (DeMarcus Cousins and Andrew Bogut each had trouble containing the dribble) or perhaps a few inches too short. With Thompson out, Quinn Cook played 27 minutes (the most he’s played in 31 career postseason games), and the Warriors’ defense was at its worst (allowing 75 points on 56 possessions) with Cook on the floor.
Of course, Thompson was healthy for Game 1, when the Raptors also scored more than 120 points per 100 possessions. After scoring just 106.8 points per 100 over the last two rounds (when they counted on their defense to win most of those games), they’ve scored 116.2 per 100 in The Finals.
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