NBA Finals Game 4 Rap
It was over when…Kyle Lowry drove to the rim and scored on a layup to extend Toronto’s lead to 14 points with 1:33 remaining. When the final buzzer sounded, the Raptors walked off the Oracle Arena floor with a 105-92 Game 4 victory to take a 3-1 series lead in the 2019 NBA Finals.
Nothing easy: The Raptors certainly didn’t get off to the start they had hoped for in Game 4, shooting just 29 percent in the opening quarter while giving up 48 percent shooting to the Warriors. Though the Raptors struggled mightily to get points on the board early, their defence came through once again allowing Toronto to trail by just six, 23-17, after the opening 12 minutes. Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 14 points, while Kevon Looney scored six points for the Warriors.
Grinding it out: Things improved for the Raptors inside the three-point line in the second quarter, as the team shot 39 percent from the floor in the quarter, but they still struggled from deep, going 0-for-7 from three. Luckily, the Warriors also went cold from long-range, making just 1-for-8 of their three-point attempts. Toronto made up for their three-point shooting woes at the line, where the team was a perfect 7-for-7 in the quarter. Serge Ibaka came off the bench to score eight points in eight minutes on 4-for-4 shooting to help the Raptors trim Golden State’s lead to four at the half, 46-42. Both teams combined to shoot 4-for-30 from beyond the arc in the first half. Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson each had 14 points to lead their respective teams at the break.
Owning the third: After getting blasted by the Warriors in the third quarter in a Game 2 loss at Scotiabank Arena, the Raptors outscored Golden State 36-31 in the third in Wednesday’s Game 3 victory. Knowing they needed a big third quarter in Game 4, the team came out of the locker room after the half ready to go. Toronto opened the quarter with a three-pointer, a steal, and a second three-pointer from Kawhi Leonard to give the Raptors a two-point lead. The teams battled back and forth in the third, but the Raptors came out on top, holding Golden State to 35 percent shooting, while the same shots that Toronto missed in the first half started to fall. The Raptors shot 52 percent from the floor in the third, including 71 percent from beyond the arc as they outscored Golden State 37-21 to head into the fourth ahead by 12, 79-67. Kawhi Leonard had 31 points to lead all scorers through three, while Klay Thompson’s 22 points led the Warriors.
Closing time: Toronto did not trail in the final quarter. The Raptors had a scary moment with 9:35 remaining as Shaun Livingston inadvertently caught Fred VanVleet with an elbow to the face while going up for a shot. VanVleet’s tooth was chipped on the play and he needed seven stitches under his eye to repair the gash, but he rejoined the team on the bench after being tended to in the back. A three-pointer from Steph Curry with 2:56 remaining got the Warriors within eight, but Pascal Siakam calmly sank two free throws on the next possession to extend Toronto’s lead back to double digits and the Warriors wouldn’t get any closer the rest of the way. Curry had 10 points to lead the Warriors in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap built by Toronto’s huge third quarter. Siakam led the Raptors with eight points in the fourth, while Kawhi Leonard and Serge Ibaka each added five points for Toronto.
Raptors player of the game: Kawhi Leonard finished with a double-double, scoring a game-high 36 points and to go with a game-high 12 rebounds, two assists, four steals, and a blocked shot in 41 minutes. He controlled the game in the second half, exploding for 17 points in that decisive third quarter where he was a +16. This was Leonard’s 14th time scoring at least 30 points this postseason. He shot 11-for-22 from the floor, 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and a perfect 9-for-9 at the free throw line.
Underrated Raptors player(s) of the game: Serge Ibaka came off the bench to score 20 points in 22 minutes. Ibaka was 9-for-12 from the floor, 1-for-1 from beyond the arc and 1-for-1 from the free throw line. He added four rebounds, an assist and two blocked shots. Pascal Siakam added 19 points in 41 minutes, shooting 6-for-14 from the floor. Kyle Lowry also added 10 points, seven assists, two rebounds and three steals, while Fred VanVleet contributed eight points and six assists off the bench.
That’s a rap…
“Man, it’s crazy. Just watching him, it’s amazing the way he plays and how he gets to where he wants to get to. It never seems like he’s in a hurry. What can you say? The dude is just nice.” - Pascal Siakam on Kawhi Leonard
By the #’s…
42…Percent shooting for the Raptors, 45 percent shooting for the Warriors. Toronto shot 31 percent (10-for-32) from beyond the arc, while Golden State shot 30 percent (8-for-27) from deep.
96…Percent shooting at the free throw line for the Raptors who shot 23-for-24 at the line. In comparison, The Warriors shot just 68 percent at the line, making 14-of-21 free throws.
19…Turnovers for the Warriors leading to 14 points scored by the Raptors. Toronto turned the ball over 11 times, leading to 10 points for Golden State.
28…Points scored by Toronto’s bench. Golden State received 18 points from its reserves.
7…Danny Green moved into seventh place on the NBA’s career list for three-pointers made in the Finals. Green now has 48 three-pointers made in the Finals in his NBA career.
They said it…
“We were confident. We're on the road, down four [at the half], we wanted to come in and have a good third quarter coming out the first five minutes, stay aggressive on both end of the floor, keep our energy up. And that's all we did.” - Kawhi Leonard on the difference for Toronto in the third quarter
“I think I've said it in many ways, and I think [Kawhi’s]really been -- his demeanour has kind of taken a big part of our team. And we have some guys that are fiery and feisty, but we all kind of just stay level headed and never get too up, never get too down.” - Kyle Lowry on how Kawhi Leonard has helped the Raptors stay calm under pressure
“Good. We won. Tough win. Obviously coming out here, trying to get two road wins, we took care of business in Game 3 and just wanted to come out here in Game 4 and get another one and put ourselves in good position for the rest of the series. Taking it one game at a time, staying locked in and getting ready for Monday.” - Fred VanVleet when asked how he was feeling after the game
“Game 5. Just like this game was the most important game coming off of Game 3, now Game 5. That’s all we’re thinking about already.” - Marc Gasol on the team’s mindset after the Game 4 victory
Up next: The series shifts back to Toronto for Game 5 on Monday, June 10 at 9 P.M ET