Pascal Siakam in his first appearance in the NBA Finals went absolute bonkers as he led the Toronto Raptors to a convincing 118-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors. The Raptors, behind some stellar defense from the likes of Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry, and Kawhi Leonard, did not allow the defending champions to settle down as they made some tough shots on the other end late on in the game to go one up in the NBA Finals.
For the Warriors, Stephen Curry had himself an incredible game as he recorded his sixth consecutive 30-point game of these playoffs. He also became the first player in NBA history to make 100 threes in the Finals early in the first quarter.
The Raptors started the game with a flurry of makes from distance as they took an early lead of 18-11 with 5 minutes to go in the first quarter. Shooting guard Danny Green looked like his old San Antonio Spurs self as he made some tough shots at regular intervals to keep Raptors on top. However, the Warriors weathered the storm as they kept Toronto's lead in check for most of the first half. But with 10.8 seconds to go, Danny Green hit a three from the corner to put Raptors up 59-49 at the end of the half.
From then on, the Raptors capitalized on their early momentum as they did not allow the Warriors to come back for the rest of the game. The game was essentially sealed when Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry hit a dagger from the logo with 30 seconds to go, which put Raptors up 118-106.
Kawhi Leonard did not have his A game as he was constantly double-teamed throughout the match. However, he did have numerous hockey assists which led to easy buckets for the Raptors. He finished the night with 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Raptors center Marc Gasol also scored in double figures to cap off the night with 20 points. Backup guard Fred VanVleet continued his brilliant play as he yet again had a praiseworthy game on both ends of the floor. He finished the game with 15 points and a clutch three in the fourth period.
For the Warriors, Draymond Green registered a triple-double, his second in an NBA Finals. Klay Thompson made some timely buckets as well, scoring 21 points in the game.
Late in the fourth quarter, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala was seen limping, coming down after making a floater. He left for the bench with 3 minutes remaining in the game.
The Toronto Raptors take a 1-0 lead in the best of seven NBA Finals.
Warriors star guard Stephen Curry did not make a single shot when guarded by Fred VanVleet in Game 1. During their two regular-season meetings, Curry made a paltry two shots when guarded by VanVleet.
Pascal Siakam scored a game-high 32 points, the most in an NBA Finals debut since Kevin Durant scored 36 against the Miami Heat back in 2012. He also became only the seventh player in NBA history to tally at least 30 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 made three-pointers.
Game 2 of the NBA Finals will be played at Scotiabank Arena on 2 June, Monday at 8:00 PM ET (3 June Tuesday, 5:30 AM IST).Published 31 May 2019, 18:12 IST