TORONTO – Night nomination as a possible preview of the NBA finals, of course, justified his billing on Thursday.
Kauhi Leonard poured in 37 points, his best as Raptor, to lead Toronto to his seventh straight victory, a spectacular defeat at 131-128 from the two-time NBA defending the Golden State champion.
Pascal Siakam, who did not miss the last minute of the third quarter, added 28 points for the Raptors Leadership League (19-4). Serge Ibaka scored 20 points, Danny Green scored 13, Jonas Valanchunas added 12, and Kyle Lowry finished with 10 points and 12 assists,
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Kevin Durant scored 51 points – his third consecutive 40-point performance – to lead the Golden team (15-8), missed Stef Curry. Clay Thompson was 23 years old.
The predators lost eight right in Golden State, but it was pre-Leonard, and now Toronto is a conversation about Eastern. The match made Thompson suggest that the night was a potential preview of the NBA finals in June.
The long-awaited night – a rare national television game in the United States and the only regular warrior trip to Toronto – was in line with its promise. The Raptors rushed out to an early 18-person lead and for the most part maintained a double-digit advantage, until Durant lit it up at the end of the third quarter.
Durant scored the final 13 points of the Fourth Round of the Warriors, including three pointers from the Raptors emblem in the middle of the yard at the buzzer, which cut Toronto to 96-88, and set the final frame to the edge of your seat.
Thompson was crowned with the victory of 9: 0 warriors, who forced the guests to two points eight minutes before the game. But the Raptors made their way back, and when Green drilled three pointers from 4:42 to play, he succeeded 8: 0, who put Toronto by 10 points, prompting a deafening roar from the crowd of Scotiabank Arena, which included Toronto Maple Liszt trainer Mike Babcock , Drake, and UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway.
Having scored just three points, leading the crazy last minute of regulation, Lowry drilled the thrill, but Durant answered with his two, second dagger, connecting the game with 8.6 seconds to play and send it to overtime.
The night was noisy after the season, and the fans stood an extra period, spewing out Green when they knocked down three from 2:07 to play to put Toronto on three. With the remaining 22 seconds, and the predators squeezing the three-point lead, Andre Igudala paved the way to the basket, but was whistling to travel, and Siakam won with three free throws in the dying seconds.
Nick Nurse, of course, was dressed for the occasion. Raptors was dressed in a shiny royal blue blazer for Sager Strong in honor of the late NBA reporter Sidlan Craig Sager, famous for his colorful clothing.
Leonard entered the game as a perfect 6-for-6 in the regular season and play-offs against the Golden State from the 2014–15 season, an average of 20.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 thefts for the game.
Meanwhile, Curry sat with a tight drive (groin). The two-time NBA MVP has not played since November 8, but is expected to return on Saturday in Detroit. Soldiers also lacked Drymond Green (leg injury).
The predators will soon have another chance in the “Golden State” – the soldiers take Toronto on December 12.
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While the Golden State pregame mantra Raptors for “Golden State is just another game,” Warrior coach Steve Kerr said it wasn’t an ordinary night.
“For us, it seems great when we know that we are playing one of the best teams in the league. “The media we are used to has fans outside the hotel,” said Kerr. "(But) we know well who we are playing and who we will see later, and tonight is definitely one of those games."
The predators, it would seem, could not miss in the first quarter, when Leonard, Siakam and Ibak shot a combined 12-on-12, and Toronto shot 72% of the frame. The raptors have risen by as many as 18 people and led 38-25 to the end of the quarter.
The warriors dragged at eight points with a 21-10 victory in the second, and the predators entered break 67-58.
The game "Warriors" was the second in heavy for the Raptors. Only four of their next 14 games are against teams with loss of records, including two against Cleveland.