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Sunday, April 14, 2024

NBA FINALS Game 3: Raptors take advantage of depleted Warriors to snatch 2-1 series lead

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Kawhi Leonard. NBA

By Ponciano Melo Jr.

OAKLAND, California — A career night from Curry could not turn a home-court advantage into a win for the Golden State Warriors as the Toronto Raptors steal one on the road after a rousing 123-109 Game 3 win in the NBA Finals at the Oracle Arena Thursday (Manila time). 

Despite gunning for a career-high 47 points, Curry had little help from a team plagued by injuries, the most recent was to superstar starter Klay Thompson who suited up but did not play.

Kawhi Leonard on the other hand, dug deep after a scoreless second quarter to score 21 points in the second half to pace the Raptors with 30 points, six assists, and seven rebounds.

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Kyle Lowry, together with the rest of the starting five of Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam, and Danny Green, all scored in double digits.

The Raptor point guard, who traded seats frisking Curry on defence with Fred VanVleet, chipped in 23 points as the rest of the starters contributed the lion’s share of points with 106. 

The series, which moved to Oakland from Toronto where GSW will be playing the final games of their franchise in the storied venue, saw the Raptors capture a pivotal 2-1 series lead. 

The Warriors, sorely missed the services of Thompson who is contributing 19.5 points in the series. This is the first playoff game without Klay Thompson starting for the Warriors. 

Stephen Curry is hounded by Toronto players Mar Gasol and Kyle Lowry during their NBA Finals Game 3 matchup at the Oracle Arena. Ponciano Melo Jr. 

They are also rueing the loss of injured Kevin Durant, and Kevon Looney after only having two other players in twin digits apart from Curry who became the first player in 20 years to get at least 40 points 5 assists 5 rebounds before the fourth quarter. 

Draymond Green pitched in 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Andre Iguodala, hero of Game 2, only managed 11 points in 31 minutes. 

Draymond Green (23) tries to lead a fastbreak after a Toronto Raptors miss during their NBA Finals Game 3 duel at the Oracle Arena. Ponciano Melo Jr.

Toronto’s biggest lead was at 16 which came at different intervals of the game since the second half. The win has put the Raptors in the driver’s seat heading into Game 4 in Oakland on Friday (Saturday Manila time).  


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