After losing in their return to Oracle Arena, the Golden State Warriors face a must-win scenario in Game 4 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
Could you imagine the look you would’ve had on your face if I told you in the midst of 2016-2017 Eastern Conference Semifinals that the Golden State Warriors would be down 2-1 to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals heading into Game 4 without home court advantage? And that Kawhi Leonard, 2016 Raptor rookie Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry would be the ones leading the charge? Well, here we are.
With the Golden State Warriors’ backs against the wall in Game 3 and severely undermanned, Stephen Curry put on the greatest finals performance in his career, going for a finals-high 47 points on 14-for-31 shooting and 6-for-14 shooting from three. But all that amounts to nothing, as Curry logged in the second-highest scoring output in a loss in the NBA Finals (see: 2018 LeBron James).
But quite honestly, the Toronto Raptors Game 3 victory was penciled in once it was announced that Curry’s running mate and back-court partner Klay Thompson and the best player in the league Kevin Durant were unavailable in the Warriors return to Oracle Arena.
Even facing an undermanned team, the Raptors seemingly brought an armored tank to a fist fight.
The Eastern Conference Champions put on an offensive showcase, led by a smooth 30 points from silent superstar Kawhi Leonard, who helped lead the Raps to their best offensive showcase in their 2019 playoff run, with a shooting line of .524/447/.951/.
With the Warriors on their heels getting into Game 4, the back to back champions must make adjustments if they want to become the third team in modern NBA history to three-peat.