Friday’s playoffs preview drives into the lane with NBA tips for Game 6 of the Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors, who hold a 3-2 lead.
11:00 (AEST), Fri 14th Jun @ Oracle Arena, Oakland
History: Played 50: Warriors 30 V Raptors 20
Last meeting: June 11, 2019: Warriors 106 d Raptors 105 at Air Canada Centre
Final Thoughts: The
kept their NBA Championship title defence alive with a character-laden win in Toronto. Can the depleted Warriors send the NBA Finals to a Game 7 decider with a home victory over the Raptors?
The series was evenly poised after two games in Toronto. The Raptors opened up with a 118-109 win and the Warriors bounced back 109-105 in Game 2.
But the Raptors took the ascendancy with a 123-109 victory in Oakland in Game 3. They appeared to put one had on the Larry O’Brien Trophy with another away win in Game 4, getting up 105-92.
Kevin Durant returned for the must-win Game 5 and hit three early three-pointers. But the Golden State talisman tore his Achilles after just 12 minutes on the court.
The Warriors showed tremendous resilience after giving up the lead for the first time during the fourth quarter. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson hit massive threes inside the last two minutes and the champs hung on for a 106-105 victory.
Kawhi Leonard (26 pts, 12 reb, 6 ast) was big, as he has been throughout the playoffs. But Marc Gasol and Kyle Lowry have also stepped up in recent games, while Toronto’s bench has been excellent.
The Warriors are a modest 6-4 at home during these NBA playoffs. The Raptors are 6-4 on the road in the post-season but have won three straight away.
Durant’s return to the casualty ward is a blow for Golden State. But Toronto face a big task regrouping on the road after coming so tantalisingly close to wrapping up the Championship at home.
A Game 7 finish to the 2018-19 NBA season beckons.