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Toronto Raptors rue third-quarter meltdown in NBA Finals Game 2

Watch Game 3 in Oakland in the early hours of Thursday morning (2am) live on Sky Sports Arena

Monday 3 June 2019 14:04, UK

The Toronto Raptors (L-R: Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard and Fred VanVleet) react with disappointment after their Game 2 loss
Image: The Toronto Raptors (left to right: Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard and Fred VanVleet) react with disappointment after their Game 2 loss

The Toronto Raptors had the Golden State Warriors on the ropes in the first half but were undone in Game 2 by an awful third quarter, which allowed the two-time defending champions to escape with a win and square up the NBA Finals.

Golden State Warriors 1-1 Toronto Raptors

  • Game 1: Warriors 109-118 Raptors | Box Score | Report
  • Game 2: Warriors 109-104 Raptors | Box Score | Report
  • Game 3: Raptors @ Warriors - Thursday June 6, 2am
  • Game 4: Raptors @ Warriors - Saturday June 8, 2am
  • Game 5: Warriors @ Raptors - Tuesday June 11, 2am
  • Game 6 (if needed): Raptors @ Warriors - Friday June 14, 2am
  • Game 7 (if needed): Warriors @ Raptors - Monday June 17, 1am
  • All games live on Sky Sports Arena

The hosts led by five points at half time but came out of the break colder than a Canadian winter as the Warriors took control of the game at Scotiabank Arena with an 18-0 run en route to a 109-104 victory that tied the best-of-seven series.

"Third quarter. We didn't play well enough. We missed too many shots. They got out in transition and got a little bit of confidence going," said Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, who fouled out with nearly four minutes left in the game.

Golden State Warriors 2:08
The Golden State Warriors went on an 18-point run at the start of the third quarter to turn the game around against the Toronto Raptors in Game 2

"Third quarter. We lost the game there."

Toronto, playing in the first NBA Finals in the franchise's 24-year history led by as many as 12 points during the first half and looked to be mostly in control with the Warriors unable to find much of a rhythm early.

But the Raptors, who enjoyed a stirring victory three days ago in the first NBA Finals game played outside of the USA, had nothing go their way for nearly six minutes to open the third.

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During the dismal stretch, Toronto missed their first eight shots of the quarter and turned the ball over five times as their lead evaporated in front of a stunned home crowd.

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"We didn't score the ball in like the first five minutes, four and a half minutes, obviously led to them getting out in transition early and a lot of layups and open looks, and that was pretty much the game right there," said Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard, who scored a game-high 34 points.

Golden State Warriors Toronto Raptors 2:32
A look back at Game 2 of the NBA Finals as the Golden State Warriors levelled the series against the Toronto Raptors

"You can't do that with a championship team on the other side."

Raptors coach Nick Nurse reckons his team lost its composure and suffered as a result.

"Well, they were obviously a little more aggressive [than in Game 1] and up in us a little bit," Nurse said. "I thought we were just a little bit impatient and didn't hold enough composure just to either A, get to a strong shot or B, move it to the next one. I thought we would hit an action and something would be there and they would cover it up with some help defense."

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The Raptors finally got on the board in the third quarter when Cameroonian forward Pascal Siakam hit a driving floating shot with just under seven minutes left in a period in which they were outscored 34-21.

Toronto did claw back to within two points of the Warriors with 26 seconds to play but it proved too little too late for a team that will rue what was a missed chance to take control of the best-of-seven series.

"Just started [the third quarter] too slow. You can't do that against this team," said Toronto guard Fred VanVleet.

golden state warriors 5:36
The GameTime crew break down how the Golden State Warriors took Game 2 of the NBA Finals

"Missing every shot doesn't help, whatever, 10 possessions in a row we didn't score. I'm not even sure. It didn't feel like we were even getting in the paint to control the tempo or the flow of the game."

Game 3 takes place in Oakland in the early hours of Thursday morning (2am) live on Sky Sports Arena.

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