The Toronto Raptors took advantage of a hurting Golden State Warriors roster to earn a 123-109 win in Game 3, taking a 2-1 series lead in the process.
Stephen Curry did everything he could assure the Warriors put up a fight, scoring the second-most points in a loss in the history of the NBA Finals with 47 points while also leading his team in rebounds and assists.
The Raptors got another monster performance from Kawhi Leonard, who finished with 30 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals, but Kyle Lowry and Danny Green's 3-point shooting made the difference in Toronto's victory.
For more on the Raptors stealing Game 3 at Oracle Arena, we have you covered with some keys from the game.
With Klay Thompson being ruled out just prior to Game 3's tip-off, Stephen Curry knew he had to step up in a big way if his team was going to have a chance.
Curry didn't take very long to heat up, scoring 12 of the Warriors' first 14 points of the contest. He didn't cool off either - Curry went on to score 17 of the team's 29 points in the frame.
He shot 6-for-11 from the field and knocked down three 3-pointers while also grabbing six boards and dishing out three assists. Curry's fingerprints were all over the first quarter, as he scored or assisted on 25 of the team's 29 points, showing he was ready to make a statement despite Thompson and Kevin Durant's absence.
👀 the best of Steph Curry's 17 1st quarter PTS! #StrengthInNumbers- NBA (@NBA) June 6, 2019
🇺🇸: ABC 🇨🇦: Sportsnet pic.twitter.com/odfyZkiart
Curry had 25 points, seven boards and four assists with just two turnovers at the break - the only Warriors player to score in double-figures - to bring Golden State to an eight-point halftime deficit. Without Curry's first half, the Warriors would have been in serious trouble.
The rest of the team scored 27 points on 9-for-27 (33.3%) shooting from the field and 1-for-11 (9.0%) from long range with 13 rebounds, seven assists and seven turnovers.
Curry finished with a ridiculous game-high of 47 points - a mark that was not only a personal NBA Finals-high but also a personal playoff career-high. It was the second-most points in a loss in NBA Finals history, three points shy of LeBron James' 51 points in a loss in Game 1 of The Finals last year.
Curry shot 14-for-31 (45.2%) from the field and 6-for-14 (42.9%) from long range to go with eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
Déjà vu for Kawhi
Ahead of Game 3, we wrote that this game was setting up in similar fashion to five years ago, when Leonard went on to win Finals MVP with a dominant win on the road in Game 3 as the moment he truly took over the series.
In that game in Miami in which the Spurs took a 2-1 series lead, Leonard finished with a team-high 29 points on an efficient 10-for-13 shooting in a 19-point win.
He had a similar impact in this one, scoring 30 points on 9-for-17 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks in a 14-point win.
Leonard's impact was perhaps most felt in the third quarter, when he scored 15 points to help offset a big quarter by Stephen Curry, who also poured in 15 in the period. The difference? Leonard did it on an efficient 4-for-6 shooting while Curry needed 13 shots to get his 15 in the quarter. It came on the back end of a rough second quarter in which Leonard went scoreless with three turnovers, missing all three of his shots and failing to get to the line.
It continues what's been a torrid scoring postseason for Leonard, who now has 13 30-point games. Over the last decade the only players with more 30-point games in a single postseason are Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
The biggest question moving forward? Like five years ago, can Leonard use this decisive Game 3 win as a springboard towards a championship? The Raptors are now two wins away.
Lowry, Green and the Raptors starters
For the first time since Game 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Raptors had all five of their starters score in double-figures.
Kawhi Leonard was his usual self, finishing with 30 points. Pascal Siakam had hot start, scoring 14 points in the first half and finishing with 18 points. Marc Gasol added a solid 17 points, but the difference in the game came from the Raptors' two starting guards.
Kyle Lowry was fantastic in this contest - every time the Warriors started to cut into Toronto's lead, Lowry was there to knock down a big shot. He finished with 23 points on 5-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc, including a couple deep bombs to halt Warriors runs.
The spotlight of the game comes from their other guard, Danny Green. Green went 1-for-12 from long range on the road in the Eastern Conference Finals. At times this postseason it looked like his most lethal weapon had abandoned him, struggling to get into any sort of a rhythm. That certainly wasn't the case in this one, as Green finished with 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting from 3-point land.
Lowry and Green combined for 11 3-pointers, just one shy of the total for the entire Warriors roster.
In a game where Golden State's roster ran thin and the Raptors didn't get a ton of offensive production from their bench, the starters stepped up to punish a depleted Warriors starting lineup.
The Raptors starting unit finished a combined plus-67, while the Warriors starting unit finished a combined minus-58.
Needing more from Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins had just returned from a torn quad in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, so it's unfair to expect too much out of the big-named centre, but the Warriors needed him to step up in the absence of two of the Warriors' top scorers.
At the bare minimum, they needed Cousins to replicate his quality Game 2 performance, and he failed to do so.
Cousins played just under 20 minutes in the contest for a stat line of four points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal. He went 1-for-7 (14.3%) from the field and missed his only 3-point attempt to go with three turnovers and a +/- of minus-12.
There were a couple of ugly stretches defensively that eventually forced head coach Steve Kerr to move Cousins to the bench in favour of a veteran centre Andrew Bogut.
Again, a torn quad is a serious injury. It's expected that it would take more than a few games to shake the rust off and get back into the flow of the game. But after his 11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocks in 27 minutes of playing time in Game 2, it had looked like Cousins had the capability to make an impact.
With a chunk of the Warriors regular rotation out, they would have gladly taken a replica of that Game 2 outing. Cousins fell well short of that mark and it showed in the result of the contest.
After the Warriors stole Game 2 at Scotiabank Arena, the Raptors stole one right back with this Game 3 win at Oracle Arena.
History now severely favours Toronto as they take a 2-1 series lead.
Teams that have won Game 3 in a series that was tied at 1-1 have an all-time record of 31-7 to win the series.
With one more contest in Oakland - Game 4 on Saturday - the Raptors have an opportunity to steal another road contest and try and close out the series at home for Game 5.
Should the Warriors take Game 4, they assure that there will be one more game played at Oracle Arena, heading back to the Bay Area for Game 6 regardless of what happens in Game 5.
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