OAKLAND, Calif. – When the Toronto Raptors emerged from the locker room at the halfway point of the fourth NBA finals game behind the Golden State Warriors Points they knew they had a chance even though they played badly in the first 24 minutes.
Kawhi Leonard then made sure that they fully exploited the benefits.
A breathtaking spectacle to kick off the third quarter ̵
By the time the quarter was over, Leonard had scored 17 of his 36 points in the quarter alone, opening the game almost single-handedly as the Raptors claimed a 105-92 victory over the Warriors.
Toronto now have a 3-1 clear lead in this best-of-seven "Kawhi Leonard came out and hit two big F-you shots to start the half-time," said Fred VanVleet, Raptors' team-mate. "There is no defense for that, there are no plans for that."
"Two great shots we came out in half, two consecutive 3s … that just left you kind of calm, like we would approach the third quarter and the rest of the half. "
Leonard has repeatedly served in these playoffs for Toronto, but his efforts in Game 4 in the Eastern Conference semifinal in Philadelphia left the Raptors alive Final of the Eastern Conference on Giannis Antetokounmpo from Milwaukee switched to their first NBA final.
But his performance on Friday night – these 36 points in 11-on-22 shooting, including 5-on-9 out of 3-point Reach, with 12 ricochets, 2 assists, 4 steals, a block and no turnovers in 40 minutes – could have been his best.
Part of it is because of the magnitude of the moment when the Raptors saw the chance Part of this is due to the level of difficulty that Leonard faced – the Warriors, who hopelessly refused to make it the final game in the UK r Oracle Arena, played a suffocating defense in the first quarter and took the lead by 23-12.
for-13 in the first 12 minutes, scored a total of three points, Leonard went 5-for-8 and scored 14 for himself, so the Raptors could somehow finish the quarter and only stayed behind 23-17.
"I mean, at the same time, I knew I had the belief this would change for us," Leonard said. "We missed a lot of wide-angle shots."
That belief was well placed as Leonard missed all four shots he made in the second quarter, but the rest of the Raptors went 9-17 to admit Toronto went into the break with just those four points and put the table for his explosion in the third quarter that triggered the game.
Leonard finished the third quarter with these 17 points and secured the Raptors a 37-21 lead in the quarter when Toronto had a 79-67 lead over the fourth quarter. It was a performance that had the feeling of a heavyweight boxer hitting an opponent in the body with a forceful shot after the other, as Leonard fired 5-for-8 from the field and another 5-for-5 from the foul. Line went too slowly Surely the warriors submit.
It was particularly worrying because the third quarter usually stands out as the Warriors.
This time, Toronto beat Golden State in its own game.
"Kawhis two big 3's too I thought the halftime has changed the feel of everyone," said Nick Nurse, Toronto coach. "I just thought that everyone thought so:" Okay, man, we know we're here, let's go. "
" We just kept going from [there].
Sometimes in the fourth quarter warriors made mini-runs to reduce the deficit, but at every opportunity the Raptors did what they have done so often in these playoffs: they responded to a big game of an opponent with their own.
By After the time it was over, so many players had risen. Serge Ibaka was 20 points behind and finished 9th to 12. Pascal Siakam recovered from an ugly first half with 13 points in the second VanVleet continued his strong defense against Stephen Curry, who scored 27 points, but a 9-on-22 and 2-on-9 from 3-point distance shot Spiel in the fourth quarter after an accidental elbow to the head of Shaun Livingston, which required seven stitches, Toronto made only 11 sales and forced G Age State to 19.
Nothing could match Leonard, and thanks to his recent great achievement and another piece of evidence in one An ever-growing number that explains that he has actually become the best player in the world, Toronto has come within a victory of a few championships could make a step forward.
Do not think that the Raptors will start celebrating now.
"We have not done anything yet," said the Toronto security guard. Kyle Lowry. "We did not do anything, we won three games."
"It's the first to four. We understand that. They are the defending champions and they will not have it easy. They will come and fight and prepare to play the next game, and so we prepare for it.
"We need to prepare to play the next game, we have not done anything yet." 19659030]