Toronto Raptors make history tonight as the first Canadian champion of the NBA franchise following a close win against the three-time champion, Golden State Warrior.
The tight Game 6 concluded with the historic victory of the Raptors in a 114-110 win against GSW at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California tonight. In a celebratory statement, Kyle Lowry empathically addressed Canadian saying that the team has brought the trophy “home.”
“Canada, we brought it home, baby. Canada, we brought it home,” Kyle Lowry said after the team was presented with the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy.
Kyle Lowry ringed two four –three-pointers and Pascal Siakam made another two openings the first quarter for the Raptors with a nine-point lead. Amidst the rallying lead on the second quarter, the Raptors entered half-game in a three-point lead against Golden State Warriors in 60-57 in favor of the Canadian team.
Klay Thompson left mid-game following an unexpected knee injury
Regaining the lead during the third quarter, an unfortunate knee injury of one of GSW’s star players, Klay Thompson stumped the momentum for the Warriors. The player was briefly assessed by the doctors before returning to the court to shoot two free throws on a foul but left right after for further assessment.
Thompson went down hard after a contested dunk from the Toronto Raptors‘ Danny Green and seemed to land awkwardly on his left knee. A foul was called against Green following what happened. Officials reviewed the sequence shortly after but determined it was a common foul. The Warriors star player played 32 minutes and had 30 points, including four threes. Early the fourth quarter, a Warriors staff has announced that Thompson will be leaving the game.
The remaining quarter has seen the teams in a neck to neck match, but the Raptors overcame winning the entire tournament making history as the first Canadian team to win the NBA Championship. In the end, the offensive strategy employed by the Raptors in Game 6 has seen 12 three-pointers – two more than the previous game.
Lowry ended up scoring 26 points while Siakam got 26 points. Fred VanVleet scored 22 points.
Kawhi Leonard wins Finals MVP
Kawhi Leonard of Toronto Raptors was named the Finals MVP posting 22 points, six rebounds and three assists to power a 114-110 win against the GSW. Leonard was dominant in the series, averaging 28.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 1.2 steals.
Analysts agreed that the Leonard had become a significant force in making the Canadian championship happen with his efforts helped him secured the Bill Russell Finals MVP Award for the second time in his career. His first came as a member of the San Antonio Spurs’ championship squad in 2014.
The recent win of Leonard stamps his name alongside basketball legends Abdul-Jabbar and James as the only players to earn Finals MVPs with two different franchises.
Furthermore, Leonard becomes the 12th player to win two or more Finals MVP awards overall in their career. Of the 11 previous players on that list, seven of them are in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The previous multiple Finals MVP winners in NBA history are Willis Reed (1970, ’73); Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (’71, ’85); Magic Johnson (’80, ’82, ’87); Larry Bird (’84, ’86); Michael Jordan (’91-93, ’96-98); Hakeem Olajuwon (’94, ’95); Tim Duncan (’98, 2003, ’05); Shaquille O’Neal (’00-02); Kobe Bryant (’09, ’10); LeBron James (’12, ’13, ’16) and Kevin Durant (’17, ’18).
Meanwhile, Warriors coach Steve Kerr congratulated the Raptors for their win on Thursday night.
“They’re a fantastic basketball team — great defensively, they share the ball, play a beautiful style, a lot of great two-way players,” he said.
“Winning a championship is an ultimate in this league, and they’ve got a lot of guys who’ve earned this. So congrats to Toronto, to their organization, to their fans — they are a worthy champion.”
Tonight’s win concludes the impressive season run of the Raptors after Toronto defeated the Orlando Magic, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks to face off in the Finals against the two-time defending champions.
Beginning the playoff season 2018-2019, Raptors President Masai Ujiri has set lofty goals for the Raptors to secure the championship this season. The team acquired Leonard from San Antonio Spurs along with Danny Green in exchange for DeMar DeRozan. Marc Gasol was later added to the roster at the trade deadline in February.