The Toronto Raptors cruised to a 123-109 victory in Game 3 of the NBA Finals to take a 2-1 series lead. The Raptors were not given much of a chance to win this series against the defending champion Golden State Warriors, but they are proving they belong. Golden State must win Game 4 or will face elimination early in this series.
The Warriors were able to get past the Portland Trail Blazers without their best player in Kevin Durant, but things aren’t as easy against the Eastern Conference champions. Golden State is not used to losing games at Oracle Arena, and two in a row doesn’t seem likely. The Raptors have been winning games all over throughout their playoff run but will be +5.5 point underdogs against the Warriors in Game 4.
Raptors Really Limiting Bench
The Toronto Raptors haven’t had much depth all season long, but Nick Nurse has really shrunk his bench in the NBA Finals. The Raptors played just seven players at least six minutes in the Game 3 win, and they got just 17 points from their reserves. Fred VanVleet is a great shooting weapon off the bench, but Toronto is going to need more scoring. Serge Ibaka leads all Toronto bench players with just eight points per game.
Kawhi Leonard led the way with 30 points in Game 3, but a pair of guards really stepped up their games for the Raptors. Danny Green and Kyle Lowry have been inconsistent throughout this run but combined for 41 points and 11 made three-pointers in the win on Wednesday night. Leonard has already proven that he can lead this team all by himself, but getting help from his teammates makes the Raptors a scary team.
Golden State Must Make Shots
The Golden State Warriors are one of the best shooting teams in the league, but that wasn’t the case in Game 3. The Warriors made just 40 percent of their field goal attempts in the loss and shot even worse from the three-point line. Golden State had three players account for 75 points in Game 3, and they need more balance and depth to even up the series. Getting healthy would be a nice change of pace for this Warriors team.
Stephen Curry was without two of his favorite running mates in Game 3 but led the way with a playoff career-high 47 points. Curry played 43 minutes in the loss and is going to need some help in Game 4. Klay Thompson is expected to return to the lineup for Game 4, and he had 25 points in the Game 2 victory before being injured. The Warriors have been banged up all playoffs long but always seem to find a way.
Warriors Even Up NBA Finals
Golden State has already ruled out Kevin Durant for Game 4, but getting Klay Thompson back is a huge deal. Thompson and Curry have been able to carry this team up to this point, and they should be able to do it again. Toronto took advantage of a good situation in Game 3, but that’s not happening again. Bet the Golden State Warriors -5.5 over the Toronto Raptors.