Tomas Karageorgos | Report
After 24 years of ups and downs and now being the NBA’s only Canadian team, the Toronto Raptors have won their first Larry O’Brien trophy.
Kyle Lowry scored Toronto’s first 11 points of the game and ended with a team-high 26 points. Lowry also had 10 assists and seven rebounds. Pascal Siakam who will most likely be named the league’s most improved player also scored 26 points. He grabbed 10 boards as well. Kawhi Leonard had a quiet 22 points but still contributed on both ends of the floor.
Fred VanVleet made five 3-pointers and scored 22 points off the bench. Serge Ibaka scored 15 points in 22 minutes.
Klay Thompson led the Golden State Warriors with 30 points in 32 minutes but was forced to leave the game due to a torn ACL when he went for a dunk but fell awkwardly. Veteran Andre Iguodala scored 22 points, Steph Curry scored 21 and provided seven assists. Draymond Green recorded another triple-double in the series as he had 11 points, 19 rebounds, and 13 assists. DeMarcus Cousins had 12 points off the bench.
Kyle Lowry has told the media he plays better on the road than at home, and he has showed that throughout the playoffs.
Kawhi Leonard has shown why he was the best player for the Raptors this season, and him sitting out games in the regular season paid off when the games mattered.
Fred VanVleet was the game-changer for Toronto as he scored 12 points in the fourth quarter.
The last minute of the game was very tense for both sets of fans. Steph Curry missed an open three that would have put his team ahead, Kawhi Leonard then dribbled the ball towards half and it was taken by Warrior Draymond Green as he called for a timeout. Raptor fans knew their team would win game 6 and the NBA championship in that moment.
Green forgot that his team had no timeouts left and therefore they were given a technical foul. Leonard sunk the free throw but was fouled when attempting a shot during the dying seconds after Toronto regained possession. Leonard made the two free throws and the buzzer sounded soon after Golden State inbounded it, putting a bow on the 2018-19 NBA season.
Kyle Lowry, who is now the longest-serving Raptor did not hold back from showing emotions as he has now reached his ultimate goal.
Lowry dedicated the win to not only the city of Toronto, but the country of Canada.
It is safe to say that the team had fun in the locker room, and the media got to see a new side of Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard provided some information about his first interaction with Lowry as a teammate in his postgame conference.
Not only the pair of them do something special, but the whole organization did.
Since the team’s inaugural season in 1995, lots of eras came and went. Including Vince Carter’s “Air Canada” days, to Andrea Bargnani being drafted first overall in 2006 and making the team turn into a laughing stock. Hardships happened and tough decisions had to be made to get to where the Toronto Raptors are today.
This title has now made basketball come full circle in Canada. The first NBA game was played between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knicks at Maple Leaf Gardens on November 1, 1946. Whether you have been a fan since day one, or just started watching the Raptors during their playoff run, everyone should enjoy this long awaited championship.
The parade will start on Monday at 10 a.m. at Exhibition Place, here are the full details.
Featured image from Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images.