Game 5 Preview: Raptors vs Warriors
Golden State Warriors (1-3) @ Toronto Raptors (3-1)
When: Monday, June 10th 9 P.M. ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury report: For the Raptors, Jordan Loyd (coach’s decision) is listed as out. For the Warriors, Kevin Durant (right calf strain), is listed as questionable.
- Home court: The Raptors are back in Toronto to host Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. After splitting the first two games of the series on their home floor, the Raptors went on the road and captured two consecutive victories at Oracle Arena to return home with a 3-1 series lead. Toronto has an opportunity to close out the best-of-seven series on Monday. The team is 3-0 this postseason when it has a chance to win a playoff series at home.
- Recent History: The Raptors got off to a slow start in Game 4, but used a strong defensive effort to keep things close until their shots finally started to fall. Toronto trailed by six points after the first quarter of Game 4 and trimmed the Warriors lead to four at the half. The Raptors came out after the locker room on a tear and used a huge third quarter to go into the fourth ahead by 12. The Raptors did not trail in the final quarter as Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with a game-high 36 points and 12 rebounds in the win, while Pascal Siakam added 19 points and Serge Ibaka came off the bench to score 20 points. The Warriors were led by Klay Thompson’s 28 points and Steph Curry’s 27 points in the loss.
- Third quarter push: The Raptors allowed an 18-0 Golden State run to start the third quarter in a Game 2 loss. When the Raptors headed to Oracle, they knew they had to be ready after the halftime break, where the Warriors have used third-quarter runs to turn close games into runaway victories. The Raptors won the third quarter in a Game 3 win, 36-31. They bested that effort in a big way in Game 4, dominating the third, 37-21 as they held the Warriors to 35 percent shooting while shooting 52 percent themselves. Kawhi Leonard singlehandedly turned a four-point deficit at the half into a two-point Raptors lead in less than a minute, scoring a three-pointer, getting the steal, and then hitting a second three-pointer on Toronto’s first two possessions of the third quarter. “They're a really good third-quarter team, and Kawhi came out and made two back-to-back threes and kind of got us jump started a little bit,” Kyle Lowry said after that Game 4 win. “We know what happened in Game 2, and we know that was a big part of what we -- our learning process. And every game is going to be different, but we just continued to just keep trying to stay in the moment, stay level-headed, stay with the game plan and understanding what we have to do and keep working.”
- Coming up big: Serge Ibaka had his best game of the series in Game 4, following up a six-block performance in Game 3 with 20 points off the bench on Friday in Oakland. Ibaka played 22 minutes in Game 4, finishing with 20 points on 9-for-12 field goals to go along with four rebounds, an assist and two blocked shots. The Raptors were a +11 when Ibaka was on the floor. “Once [Ibaka] gets into the series, which he did in Game 3, with the blocked shots and the rebounding and stuff, he seems to stay in the series,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said of Ibaka after Game 4. “He was great [on Friday], man, and it's kind of all -- he usually gives you all of it. Once he starts blocking a couple shots and the offence comes and the rebounding comes and a putback here and there, and even his jump shot seems to come once he gets into the game defensively with a blocked shot or two.”
- Staying the course: Much has been said about Kawhi Leonard’s ability to block out distractions and stay even-keeled, regardless of the situation. Sticking to the script is part of how Leonard keeps his focus where it needs to be. “Just stay in the same routine and just focus [on] what's in front of me,” Leonard said on Sunday afternoon when he was asked how he's able to stay in the present. “You just got to stay current and stay in your routine, be patient and not rush anything.” In Game 4, Leonard recorded his 14th game of scoring at least 30 points in the postseason, a feat accomplished by only Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Allen Iverson in a single postseason since the 2000-01 season. His 684 total points scored this postseason rank eighth in NBA history for points scored in a single playoff season. Leonard is shooting 94 percent (45-of-48) at the free throw line in the Finals and is averaging 30.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in 40 minutes per game this series.