Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors
When and Where: Monday, June 10, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ont., 9:07 p.m. EDT.
Toronto leads series 3-1.
UPDATES 6/10 @ 3 p.m. CDT with player prop picks
There have been many challenges to the Golden State Warriors during their five seasons atop the National Basketball Association, but none have required the grit and determination the present situation now presents.
The Warriors hope the expected return of All-Star forward Kevin Durant on Monday night will help them begin the process of overturning a 3-1 series deficit as they try to prevent the Toronto Raptors from winning their first NBA Finals title in franchise history in Game 5.
Keep this page bookmarked because there will be updates both Sunday and Monday with player quotes and both team and player prop bets courtesy Pointsbet.com!
Warriors with back to wall, hoping to have Durant but need more
The Warriors have been down 3-1 in a series during their five-season run of excellence, overturning that deficit against Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference finals before having the trick turned on them in the finals that year by LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Durant joined Golden State after that NBA Finals loss and won back-to-back NBA Finals MVP awards in helping the Warriors lift the Larry O’Brien trophy the last two seasons. Without the injured All-Star forward, though, these are now desperate times in the Bay Area after Friday night’s 105-92 loss.
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) June 8, 2019
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 9, 2019
Durant’s strained calf has sidelined him into a fifth week, and the prospects of him returning appear to have improved. By Monday afternoon, the optimism in the Warriors camp improved further after he participated in the morning shootaround. Coach Steve Kerr told The Associated Press “He went through full shootaround and went back to get treatment. We’ll list him game-time decision, but it looked good and we’ll see where it all goes.”
Even with the return of Durant, who averaged 34.2 points on 51.3 percent shooting in 11 playoff games before suffering the injury in Game 5 of the conference semifinals versus Houston, it is clear Golden State needs more than just the two-time NBA Finals MVP to first send the series back to the Bay Area let alone pull off a historic comeback.
“It’s not a good feeling right now, obviously, but like you said, we have been on both sides of it,” Stephen Curry said after Friday night’s loss about taking positives having already overturned a 3-1 series deficit. “And for us it’s an opportunity for us to just flip this whole series on its head, and you got to do it one game at a time.
“… In our locker room we’re talking about believing, everybody out there believe that we can get this done. We got to — we can draw on those experiences that we had back in the day and see what happens.”
Klay Thompson, who sat out the Game 3 loss with a strained hamstring, returned with plenty of bounce and no rust as he finished with 28 points and shot 6 of 10 from 3-point range. Curry’s 27 came with far more effort and less efficiency as the All-Star guard was 9 for 22 overall.
While it is easy to define how much Durant’s offense has been missed in this series as Golden State has lacked a consistent third scorer, the Warriors have struggled defensively throughout this series because Toronto’s bigs have been adept at running the pick-and-roll against DeMarcus Cousins and Andrew Bogut in addition to Draymond Green at the “5” when they go to a smaller lineup.
Pick and Roll
Kawhi to Ibaka
Looney demora pra voltar.
Iguodala sai no Lowry
Lowry volta pra Ibaka.
Iguodala fica igual cego em tiroteio.
Dunk by Ibaka
— Coast to Coast Brasil🏀🇧🇷 (@BrasilCoast) June 8, 2019
Serge Ibaka, in particular, gave the Warriors fits as he built on the momentum of his excellent second half in Game 3 to provide 20 points off the bench on 9-of-12 shooting.
“He just got it going, and they did a good job in the second half of moving the ball and finding the open man,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about Ibaka. “They hit eight threes in the second half after we did a good job on them in the first, and so the ball started moving and they found Serge in the pockets and in the middle of the paint several times, and he had a great game.”
Kevon Looney was part of Golden State’s struggles, but considering the Warriors big man had previously been ruled out of the series due to a collarbone injury suffered in Game 2, his contributions of 10 points and six rebounds in just over 20 minutes were an unexpected bonus.
Golden State’s bid to become just the second team in NBA Finals history to overcome a 3-1 deficit is a daunting one as there have been only 11 instances in NBA postseason history. And of those 11, only three teams — the 1968 Boston Celtics, the 1995 Houston Rockets, and the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers — were able to do it winning Games 5 and 7 on the road.
Raptors poised to set off celebrations throughout Toronto and Canada
The Raptors have given themselves three chances to close out this series for their first NBA title in franchise history after their sweep of the Warriors in Oakland.
For all the talk of how Toronto lacked much championship experience, what has been provided by Ibaka, now NBA Finals MVP frontrunner Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green has been immeasurable in terms of poise and purpose in getting this team to the brink of a title.
"I'm just playing to win." – Kawhi Leonard
36 Pts | 12 Reb | 5 3PM | 4 Stl pic.twitter.com/qhSUr9Gd8N
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) June 8, 2019
“We didn’t do nothing yet. We haven’t done anything,” point guard Kyle Lowry insisted Sunday. “We still got to get one more win. It’s the first to four. You got champions coming in here and they’re going to play their butts off and play extremely hard. For me, we still got to focus on us and take it one possession at a time.”
Leonard — who recorded his third straight 30-point game and 15th overall in this postseason after finishing with 36 points and 12 rebounds — essentially saved the Raptors in the first quarter. He scored 14 of the team’s 17 points as his teammates were a combined 1 for 13. He had another 17 in the third quarter, including eight in the final 2:17 during a game-altering 12-4 run that gave Toronto a 12-point lead heading into the final period.
“He’s a real professional. I’ve stated this before: When I speak in the meetings and when I speak in a film session or when I speak in a huddle, he’s always looking at me and a lot of times he’s nodding his head,” Nurse said of Leonard on Sunday. “I’ve always said for a rookie head coach, that makes you feel okay, right, when a guy like him is actually looking and sometimes agreeing with what you’re saying.
“As far as developing a relationship, he’s about business. He puts in a workday that’s incredible from all facets of getting himself ready to play. I’m pretty much a non-BS guy. We talk basketball, talk how he feels health-wise and keep it pretty simple.”
Nurse also found an interesting “big unit” combination of Ibaka, Marc Gasol, and Pascal Siakam to counteract when Golden State went small to try and wind up the pace. The passing of Ibaka and Gasol within the pick-and-roll offense created plenty of open looks and also helped prevent Golden State’s defense from shutting down Siakam, who scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half after a rough start.
2:50 remaining in Q3 on ABC & TSN pic.twitter.com/oCuszRlLsO
— NBA (@NBA) June 8, 2019
“We put a lot of work and we believe in us, but one of the good things about us is our toughness, mind toughness,” Ibaka noted. “We be getting better and better each round, first round, second round, third round, and now we are here.
“…We always try to be ready, even the guys who don’t play, they come out there, put in work. Even myself and Marc. When you play less minutes, you come the next day, you come the next day, you put in work. So I think that’s one of the things about us. Also you see each night it’s different guys, so you always try to be ready.”
The Raptors were fortunate there was nothing more than a cut to the face of guard Fred VanVleet, who needed seven stitches following an inadvertent elbow from Shaun Livingston as he followed through his shot in the paint.
VanVleet, who has been a key component for the Raptors in hounding Curry at every turn on the defensive end, had eight points and six assists and has averaged 13.8 points in the finals.
Toronto, which had a six-game playoff home winning streak snapped in the Game 2 loss, is 9-3 overall at Scotiabank Arena this postseason. The Raptors are also 3-1 in playoff closeout games this season, eliminating both Orlando and Philadelphia at home in the first two rounds before taking out Milwaukee in their first chance in Game 6 of the conference finals.
The Warriors are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games vs. the Raptors.
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven playoff games as underdogs between 0.5-4.5 points.
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a double-digit loss at home.
The Raptors are:
- 7-1 ATS in their last eight games after scoring 100 or more points in the previous game.
- 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 home games vs. teams with an above-.600 road record.
- 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win.