1. Rising up to the occasion
The Toronto Raptors’ starters in Game 3’s victory were sensational. They all had moments where they impacted the game for their team to win, and seemingly every time the Dubs made a push, Toronto responded with a timely 3-pointer to extend the lead again.
In the first half, Kyle Lowry led the way with 15 of his 23 points. He was aggressive getting to his spots, attacking the paint and using screens to find an open teammate. His shooting, along with fellow backcourt partner Danny Green, was amazing as well. They combined for 11 of the team’s 17 made 3-pointers.
The team collectively had 30 assists on 43 made field goals, for a 69.8 percent assist-to-field goal ratio. The ball was moving and had everyone involved. Their offense is only half of the story though. Their defense, like it has been in the first two games in the series, was stellar yet again.
The team had 10 blocks and nine steals, which led to 14 turnovers for 10 points off turnovers. Serge Ibaka, coming off the bench in the second half of the game, had four of his game-high six blocks on the night, proving crucial over the final stretches in protecting the team’s lead.
The Raptors’ starting unit finished a combined +67, while the Warriors’ starting unit finished a combined -58. The Raptors took full advantage of the depleted Golden State lineup and were able to get impactful performances from their top seven players in the rotation. Leonard had 15 of his 30 points in the third quarter, largely marginalizing the Warriors’ best offensive quarter.
This was Leonard’s 13th game with 30 or more points this postseason. Only LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have had more 30-point games in a single postseason over the last decade. As Leonard said in the post-game conference on ESPN, “we are two wins away.”