The Toronto Raptors captured their first-ever NBA championship by defeating the hobbled but still formidable Golden State Warriors on their home court in a rousing sixth game. The series was not a work of art by some observations, but Toronto dug deep against a Warriors squad that kept things close.
Led by NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, the Raptors were up against a still-stacked Warriors team who lost Kevin Durant to injury just a game prior and with center Kevon Looney ailing. Sharpshooter Klay Thompson also wasn’t at his best and eventually left the game due to injury.
For some, the Warriors losing key assets puts an asterisk on the Raptors winning the series, however, Golden State has a deep bench of capable players that’d probably start on most NBA squads. Theories and excuses aside, the final score of 114-110 in favor of Toronto shows just how narrowly the team squeaked by.
Both teams have decisions to make from their front office. Durant was seen as the top free agent for the upcoming season, that is until the injury that might keep him sidelined for all of next season. It isn’t known if he’ll stick around with the Warriors or test the market as most expected. Leonard is also a free agent and speculation is high that he will bolt from the Raptors, but a championship can sometimes sweeten a situation into a team’s favor.
NBA Twitter has been on one since Thursday night, and we’ve got the reactions below.
The Raptors are bringing the title to The North 🏆 pic.twitter.com/7uPyWcC06H— ESPN (@espn) June 14, 2019
Fred VanVleet, it must be repeated, was undrafted.— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) June 14, 2019
With 16 3PM in the #NBAFinals, Fred VanVleet recorded the most 3-pointers off the bench in a NBA Finals series. (JR Smith and Robert Horry held the record prior to this season with 15) pic.twitter.com/Es1VPpoHO5— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) June 14, 2019
It’s 7am and I still can’t believe the Toronto Raptors and Kawhi Leonard won the championship— Donald Trump Advisor (@TrumpAdvisor24) June 14, 2019
Has the feel of the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki in 2011
kawhi became the greatest raptor of all time within a year while wearing new balances— one trick pony (@tobyemelife) June 14, 2019
How terrific would it be if the Raptors *just* went to Parliament Hill, with the trophy and the team, and not the White House?— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) June 14, 2019