The Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors 118-109 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night at Air Canda Arena.
Pascal Siakam scored 32 points and lead his team to a 1-0 lead in their NBA Finals debut.
The Raptors did it without their best player needing to take over, because they moved the ball and played as a team. Kawhi Leonard had 23 points on 5-for-14 shooting against a swarming, smothering Warriors defense.
“They were blitzing Kawhi on the pick-and-roll and allowing the middle of the floor open or they were switching early on the offense,” said Marc Gasol, who had 20 points on 10 shots and played spectacular defense “We did a good job of moving that ball and finding — I still think we can do a better job on it, but it was good enough.”
Toronto locked Golden State down in the halfcourt offense, allowing only 0.83 points per possession forcing the Warriors to turn the ball over, giving Toronto some easy transition buckets.
Coming off a nine-day layoff, the Warriors are rusty to start, scoring just 21 points in the first quarter on 7-of-23 shooting overall and 3-of-10 from beyond the arc. Shots the Warriors traditionally hit did not fall, and Toronto did a good job contesting Golden State’s actions. Raptors, however, didn’t take advantage and only up by four after one quarter, 25-21.
The Warriors defense also was not sharp at points, with slow closeouts to shooters or allowing cutters to go unguarded in the paint. Toronto was recognizing it and took advantage.
Drake, of course, was in attendance at the game roaming the sidelines in an autographed Dell Curry Raptors jersey trolling Steph Curry and his dad who played — years in Toronto.
Game 2 is Sunday before the NBA Finals shift to Oakland, Calif., for Games 3 and 4