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Siakam and Raptors Surprise Warriors

Toronto Golden State
By Isaac E

The stat that looms the most pivotal in Game 1 of the Finals comes from an expected source in Pascal Siakam. Siakam went 14-of-17 from the field ending in 32 points and adding eight rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. The performance along with others lifted the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first ever Finals victory by the score of 118-109.

You could more accurately associate, the tagline “strength in numbers” with the Raptors in Game 1. Marc Gasol pitched in with 20 points and seven rebounds, and the struggling Danny Green scored 11 points going 3-of-7 from behind the arc. Fred Van Vleet added 15 points off the bench. All of these performances prevented the Warriors from taking advantage of Raptors star Kawhi Leonard having an off-night.

Leonard was 5-of-14 from the field and struggled with his shot, but happy to defer to Siakam who had the hot hand. Kyle Lowry also struggled with foul trouble and only scoring 7 points.

The Raptors two best players not having an impact should have meant a sure Warriors victory, but the other players prevented this from happening.

Stephen Curry and Play Thompson combined for 55 points but received limited help except for the efforts of Draymond Green. Green finished with a triple-double but only from two shots from the field on nine attempts. DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala both looked like players retiring from injuries as their minutes were limited and both struggled at times on defensive transition.

The entire Warriors team’s defensive transition must improve in Game 2 as the Warriors gave up wide open looks and layups in transition throughout the game. The role players took advantage of getting open looks and easy baskets. The Warriors committed 17 turnovers leading to 17 Raptors points.

Game 2 of the NBA Finals is set for Sunday at 8 p.m.

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