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.
"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.
"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.
"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."
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.
"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.