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The Warriors were missing several key contributors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals and it showed, as the Raptors ran away with a double-digit win.
Alfonzo McKinnie played 53 minutes during the 2017-18 NBA season. He played 19 in Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals. With Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney and Kevin Durant all out of the lineup, the Warriors had to look anywhere they could for production and, unfortunately for them, they didn’t find enough.
Thompson was a late scratch with reports saying he wanted to play but the Warriors medical staff decided it was a better course of action to avoid risk of him exacerbating his injured hamstring and instead, holding him for Game 4. Stephen Curry answered the call for his team, putting up an enormous stat line (more on that later) but his teammates managed just 62 points on 22-of-60 from the field.
On the other end, the Raptors received a well-rounded performance from their supporting cast and won all four quarters, never letting the Warriors push them into the danger zone.
Stephen Curry did everything he could. You hear the nonsense in the darker corners of the internet, the idea that Steph is a system player who can’t handle the weight of primacy. Can we be done with it now? With pretty much everything but Draymond Green’s passing stripped away, all Curry did was put up 47 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals, shooting 14-of-31 from the field. Between his scoring and assists, Curry was responsible for nearly three-quarters of Golden State’s offensive output, on a night where he was missing nearly all of his most dangerous running mates. It was an incredible performance by Curry and, perhaps, a reminder of what he’s put LeBron James and James Harden through the past few seasons.
The Raptors are a different team when Pascal Siakam is rolling. Siakam was the story in Game 1 and he put up an enormous 18 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in Game 3. His defense is always important but his ability to work as a secondary creator, helping push on every possession and attacking off the dribble just gives Toronto’s offense so much energy. Kyle Lowry had a fantastic game but at this point in his career, Lowry’s jumper is what gives him the biggest impact. Other than Kawhi, Siakam is the only player on Toronto with the consistent ability to collapse the defense and force chaotic rotations to be exploited.
Toronto needs everyone. The Raptors won because the Warriors depth was eroded and because Kawhi and Siakam got loose but, as has been the pattern in Toronto’s playoff wins, everyone showed up. Fred VanVleet hit 3-of-6 3-pointers off the bench. Lowry added 23 and was hot from the outside. Serge Ibaka came up with 6 blocks and a pair of steals. Marc Gasol had 4 assists and hit some shots and Danny Green was lights-out from the outside. Toronto needs two more games to win a title. They might get one with an outlier Kawhi performance but they really need everyone to keep stepping up and hitting shots if they’re going to finish this off.
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