Basketball

Ailing Warriors no match for Raptors’ teamwork

The Toronto Raptors showcased their strength in depth that an undermanned Golden State Warriors could not match yesterday morning (Singapore time), taking full advantage of their status as the deeper and healthier team in the NBA Finals.

While champions Warriors were forced to lean on Stephen Curry - who scored a play-off career-high 47 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists - the Toronto Raptors played as a team to prevail 123-109 and seize a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals.

"We all can score with the offence that we have," Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard told reporters after scoring a team-high 30 points.

"It's about just moving the ball, playing the team sport and trusting everyone."

The Raptors were in much better position to do that than the Warriors, who played without guard Klay Thompson after he joined the ailing Kevin Durant on the sidelines.

Big man Kevon Looney was also ruled out for the remainder of the series, following a fractured collarbone in Game 2.

"When you lose an All-NBA type basketball player in Klay and an All-Star, it definitely changes their team," said Toronto point-guard Kyle Lowry, emphasising the team's sense of urgency to win Game 3.

The Raptors stole the show with a complete effort that spotlighted their versatility.

Lowry was at his playmaking best, guard Danny Green rained down six three-pointers, forward Pascal Siakam slashed through the defence and reserve Serge Ibaka swatted away six blocked shots.

The Raptors fired away 38 three-pointers on the night, looking more like the Warriors than the Warriors themselves.

The Warriors could have both Durant and Thompson return for Game 4 tomorrow.

"We'll be ready for whoever plays," said Raptors big man Marc Gasol. - REUTERS, AFP

Basketball