Raptors beat shorthanded Warriors, take 2-1 Finals lead

Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) goes for a rebound against Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston (34) in game three of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.
Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) goes for a rebound against Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston (34) in game three of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.
Image: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors defeated a short-handed Golden State Warriors squad 123-109 in Oakland on Wednesday to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals.

The Raptors won behind 30 points from Kawhi Leonard and a balanced attack that saw five other players score in double digits.

 

The Warriors were able to cut the lead to as little as seven points at some stages but the Raptors always had an answer as sharpshooter Danny Green made six three-pointers and Serge Ibaka blocked six shots.

The Raptors overcame a 47-point performance by Stephen Curry -- a playoff career-high for the Warriors point guard -- but it was not enough for the two-time defending champions.

"They never make anything easy and Steph is a two-time MVP," said Raptors point guard Kyle Lowery, who tallied 23 points and nine assists.

"For us, we need to just stay locked into the game plan. We can't have any mental lapses, that’s what hurts us. We've just got to continue to work, play hard and stay level headed."

The Warriors were forced to play without starting shooting guard Klay Thompson, who injured his hamstring in Game Two, and two-times Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who has been sidelined with a right calf strain since May 8.

The Warriors were also without back up big man Devon Looney, who suffered a fracture in Game Two and has been ruled out for the remainder of the series.