The Toronto Raptors took the upper hand in the NBA Finals (1-0) and now want to come one step closer to the title on Sunday (02/06).
Heading into Game 1, the question was whether Toronto could challenge Golden State or the two-time defending champions would cruise to their third straight title.
In their first NBA Finals appearance, the Raptors played very well on both ends and handed the Warriors their first Game 1 loss in their five straight trips to the NBA Finals (118-109).
To achieve this, the hosts saw five players score in double digits, with Pascal Siakam stealing the spotlight.
Siakam, who is also one of the candidates for the Most Improved Player award, finished the game with 32 points (on an impressive 14/17 shooting) and eight rebounds.
At the same time, Marc Gasol made his best performance in the postseason (20 points), while Fred VanVleet scored in double digits for a fourth straight game (15 points).
With the Warriors focusing on stopping Kawhi Leonard (23 points, 5/14 shooting), the aforementioned players stepped up and led the Canadians to the victory.
On the other hand, the two-time defending champions depended a lot on the “Splash Brothers” once again.
Stephen Curry (34 points) and Klay Thompson (21 points) combined for 55 points for the losing squad, but couldn’t give their team the victory.
Apart from Draymond Green (10 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists), no other player scored in double figures and this has to change ahead of Game 2.
With Kevin Durant being doubtful, due to a calf injury, and DeMarcus Cousins having just returned from a quad injury, Golden State has to make adjustments and get back on track in order to “steal” the road win and even the series.
If they focus again on Leonard, they will risk to see Siakam and company take over and become game changers.
With five Raptors in double figures, Toronto had its second-best shooting game of this postseason (59.1% effective field goal percentage). An identical number in Game 2 will bring the hosts closer to a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.
However, the Warriors have been resilient and have the depth and talent to turn things around. For their part, the Raptors will seek for a second straight excellent performance on both ends, so another exciting match-up is expected.
This time, the betting odds have been different compared to Game 1. Although it is likely there will be changes in NBA betting until the start of the match, the Raptors enter Game 2 as the odds-on favourites.
Overall, another great match-up is expected in Toronto on Sunday (02/06), with the Raptors showing they will fight tooth and nail to claim their first NBA title.