The Golden State Warriors, led by a combined 48 points from Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, won Game 2 of the 2019 NBA Finals to even the series at 1-1 with a 109-104 victory in Toronto.
The Warriors overcame another big game from Kawhi Leonard, who scored 34 points in a losing effort including 16-for-16 from free throw lines and 8-20 from floor.
After trailing by five points at halftime, a combination of good defense from the Warriors and poor shooting from the Raptors allowed the Warriors to build a sizable lead in the second half.
The Warriors stepped up on their defense by neutralizing Siakam and VanVleet. Siakam scored only 5 points and VanVleet only chipped in 3 points in the second half. Siakam finished the game with only 12 points. The Warriors also shut down Marc Gasol, who only scored 6 points.
By the time the Raptors snapped out of their shooting funk, it was too late. The Warriors held on for a victory to end the series at 1-1. They host the Raptors in Oakland for Game 3 and Game 4 this week.
Tale of Two Halves
The Raptors opened up a five-point lead at halftime led by 16 points from Kawhi Leonard and 14 points from Fred VanVleet off the bench.
Pascal Siakam, coming off a 32-point performance in Game 1, was held to just seven points in the first half on 3-or-8 shooting. The Warriors clamped down on Siakam all game and made sure he did not replicate his Game 1 heroics.
The Splash Brothers combined for 34 points in the first half. Klay Thompson came out all fired up and he led all scorers with 18 points on 3-for-3 from downtown. Boogie Cousins started at center and he added seven points in 11 minutes of action.
Scoreless for 6 Minutes
Andre Iguodala went scoreless in the first half, but he scored five of the Warriors first seven points in the third quarter to put the Warriors ahead. Little did the Raptors realize that their scoring woes would last half the quarter. The Warriors unleashed an 18-0 run and took a 13-point lead before the Raptors finally scored their first points on the second half.
“Third quarter we didn’t play well enough. We missed too many shots,” said Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. “They got out in transition and got a little confidence going. We lost the game there.”
Leonard went to work and scored 12 points during the remainder of the third quarter to trim the deficit to 8 points.
Things went a little weird in the fourth quarter. Steph Curry did not score a single point and Thompson did not play due to a hamstring injury, yet the Warriors would still hold on for the win.
Boogie Cousins and the bench stepped up for the Warriors. Quinn Cook knocked down back-to-back three pointers to keep the Warriors out in front.
The Raptors took a huge hit when Kyle Lowry fouled out with under 4 to go. For most of the second half, Nick Nurse employed a “Box and One” on Curry. You never see that defense in the NBA and it’s really more suited to high school or small colleges.
The Raptors might have snuffed out Curry’s scoring, but the Warriors still moved the ball around and found open players. Iggy hit a huge trey with 7 seconds to seal the win for the Warriors.
Thompson tweaked his hammy and he left the game early. He still finished with 25 points in 32 minutes to lead the Warriors in scoring. Curry scored all 23 points in the first three quarters.
Green missed a triple-double by one assist. He finished Game 2 with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists.
Boogie Cousins was the spark plug the Warriors needed with 11 points, 10 points, and 6 assists.
“It was a great win,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “We got to go home and protect our home floor and we’ll see about all the injuries. But I’m very proud of our team and in particular all the guys off the bench.”
Heading into Game 3 on Wednesday night, the Warriors are consensus 5.5-point favorites over the visiting Raptors. According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Warriors are -250 to win the NBA championship. The Raptors are +220 to win the NBA Title.
Kevin Durant, who injured his calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals, made the trip to Toronto but did not play. He is expected to sit out Game 3, but KD is expected to return for Game 4.