NBA finals Game 4: Toronto Raptors 105-92 Golden State Warriors – as it happened

Last modified: 03: 55 AM GMT+0

Final thoughts

So, we’re either going to have the first NBA championship by a team from Canada or the Golden State Warriors are going to pull off a comeback after falling into a 3-1 Finals deficit. Either way, we could see something memorable and it could come about as soon as Monday’s Game 5 when the series continues, and possibly concludes, in Toronto. One can only imagine what the atmosphere will be like then.

We will continue to cover the NBA Finals here at the Guardian until its conclusion, but this will be all of today’s live coverage. Thanks to everybody for following along, particularly those who contributed. Ciao!

Still this wasn’t about the Warriors losing, although that might be the sexier story, it was about a great game played by the Raptors. Despite a disjointed first half performance, the Raptors found themselves in the second half. Kawhi Leonard had a spectacular game, he scored 36 points and racked up 12 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka was absolutely ridiculous of the bench. Right now, they very much look like the better team, with an emphasis on “team.”

Email from Dan Carter:

So this is the whole story, right? Toronto can own the ‘regular’ warriors, but Durant comes back at 1-3 down and they take it 4-3, assuring his status as an all timer, rather than a bandwagon-er.

Well that’s the hope for the Warriors but there’s a lot of “ifs” there and, again, two of the next three potential games will be in Toronto. Certainly, Kevin Durant will be the big story over the next few days.

The Toronto Raptors have taken a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. Can you believe it? The Golden State Warriors are now a game away from elimination and we may have seen the last game ever played at Oracle Arena.

Raptors win!

Raptors 105-92 Warriors, FINAL

Raptors just showing off not. Siakam rattles one home from around ten feet. At that point, both sides realize its over and Toronto holds for the final buzzer. The Raptors win!

Raptors 103-92 Warriors, 1:28, 4th quarter

Lowry gets the fans to start heading for the exits with his shot. Curry keeps things something close to interesting by completing a three-point play.

Raptors 101-89 Warriors, 1:53, 4th quarter

Siakam with a jumper. That might be the game right there.

Raptors 99-89 Warriors, 2:48, 4th quarter

Curry hits a three-pointer! There’s life still here.

Draymond Green decides to immediately suck all the momentum out of the game by pushing Siakam who goes to the line where he nails both of them. Just a completely boneheaded foul by Green.

Raptors 97-86 Warriors, 3:05, 4th quarter

Kawhi Leonard? He doesn’t miss free throws. He increases Toronto’s lead by beyond-calmly hitting two. Curry gets the points right back for the Warriors. They still have a pulse.

Raptors 95-84 Warriors, 3:43, 4th quarter

In other news, VanVleet has gotten stitched up and apparently doesn’t have a concussion, which is good news. He’s on the bench here. Iguodala gets to the line and makes… one of two free throws.

Raptors fans are starting to feel it.

@HunterFelt We The North! We've got this.

— Butlins McCarthy (@dbainestoronto) June 8, 2019

Raptors 95-83 Warriors, 4:19, 4th quarter

Missed opportunity for the Warriors to cut Toronto’s lead into single-digits. Looney gets to the line but can’t convert either shot. Inevitably, the Raptors respond. They keep a possession alive thanks to a Danny Green rebound and Siakam makes a layup. The Warriors call a timeout.

Raptors 93-83 Warriors, 4:54, 4th quarter

The Warriors start to chip away a bit after Draymond banks a shot home and Curry gets to the line where he makes both. It’s a 10-point game and there’s still plenty of time, especially considering Golden State’s weapons.

Raptors 93-81 Warriors, 6:08, 4th quarter

The crowd gets loud at a Klay Thompson three-pointer but there’s no stopping Serge Ibaka in this half and he lands a tremendous dunk to raise his total to 20 points.

Updated

Raptors 91-76 Warriors, 7:34, 4th quarter

Danny Green breaks his oh-fer with a trademark ridiculous three-pointer.

Email from Kai Soltys, on the VanVleet injury:

Fine the floor $500 000 and suspend it for a season

Raptors 88-76 Warriors, 7:48, 4th quarter

Can’t say anything bad about Kevon Looney in this game. Draymond Green finds him for an alley-oop dunk and that’s going to be enough to get Toronto to calm things down with a timeout.

Raptors 88-74 Warriors, 8:19, 4th quarter

Draymond Green gets Kawhi Leonard to pick up his fourth foul. Green grinds out two more free throws. Every one of those might be crucial for the Warriors.

Raptors 88-72 Warriors, 8:33, 4th quarter

Leonard with a three-pointer and it’s a 16 point lead and… is this actually about to get away from the Warriors? Are we witnessing the end of an era right here and now?

Raptors 85-72 Warriors, 8:57, 4th quarter

Ibaka scores again and picks up a foul. He’s not going to miss that free throw, not in this game.

Raptors 82-72 Warriors, 9:35, 4th quarter

VanVleet walks to the back on his own, he looks shaken up from the hit and I’m shaken up just looking at him to be honest. Meanwhile, Ibaka has picked up a foul that puts Shaun Livingston on the line. He makes both free throws.

Raptors 82-70 Warriors, 9:35, 4th quarter

The two teams go on one of those offensive-challenged stretches of play before VanVleet hits the floor and he’s bleeding from the eye.

Raptors 82-70 Warriors, 11:28, 4th quarter

Okay this is starting to get into dangerous territory for Golden State. VanVleet nails a three right off the bat, but Thompson does promptly answer.

Email from Redmond Grimes:

I was at the TFc game tonight. They are showing the Raptors on the big screen at the stadium and the beer is still flowing!

I have to imagine that it’s getting pretty loud after that offensive explosion.

Raptors 79-67 Warriors, end of the 3rd quarter

Leonard adds to the Raptors lead: two free throws and another jumper. The Warriors need to get something going here and it’s going to be on Steph. He completes a three-point play after drawing a foul on Ibaka that cuts the lead to 10 points.

There’s no stopping Leonard though. The Raptors hold for the last shot before getting the ball to their main guy as VanVleet finds him for the final basket of the quarter. What a quarter for the Raptors who score 37 points in the frame.

Updated

Raptors 73-64 Warriors, 1:21, 3rd quarter

Ibaka has been Toronto’s secret weapon. He scores again and it’s an 8 point lead for the Raptors. Steph Curry gets to the line and, somehow, misses one of two free throws. That helps the Warriors a bit but it would help them more if they could stop Ibaka who scores YET again.

Raptors 69-63 Warriors, 2:14, 3rd quarter

Leonard gets back to the line where he should be paying rent. He hits both free throws to increase the Raptors lead.

Phil Rawlinson:

Hi hunter

I am really enjoying this series but am a bit of a novice.

With my ignorant hat on, it seems unfair one team has steph curry, hes really quite good.

And yet Toronto are right at them

I appreciate this adds nothing but I want Toronto to win

Steph Curry really is a Human Cheat Code.

Raptors 67-63 Warriors, 2:50, 3rd quarter

You’ll never believe it but Draymond Green just picked up a technical foul for saying something to an official. Leonard takes the technical free throw for Toronto and drills it. He also makes the next Raptors’ basket. Warriors want another timeout here.

“Right Place, Wrong Time” takes us to the commercial break. R.I.P. Dr. John, the Night Tripper.

Raptors 64-63 Warriors, 3:17, 3rd quarter

Curry gets to the line and of course he makes both free throws. What else do you expect from him?

Raptors 64-61 Warriors, 4:00, 3rd quarter

Siakam goes to the line for free throws and makes both. We’re all tied up which sounds about right, neither team seems quite able to break away from the other.

Although Ibaka wants to change that he hits a three to give the Raptors their biggest lead of the game.

Raptors 59-61 Warriors, 4:29, 3rd quarter

Thompson hits another three. Quite a different half here.

And Lowry lands on his ankle awkwardly. He stays in the game however.

Raptors 59-58 Warriors, 5:32, 3rd quarter

Out of the timeout, Iguodala misses a layup. Gasol hits a three-pointer and the see-saw second half continues.

Raptors 56-58 Warriors, 6:14, 3rd quarter

Wow, an incredible block by Draymond Green on Pascal Siakam to prevent an easy score. The Warriors take a timeout.

Raptors 56-58 Warriors, 6:39, 3rd quarter

Draymond Green fouls Siakam on a made basket. Unlike Cousins, he completes the old-fashioned three pointer and the Raptors regain a lead for the blink of an eye before Thompson hits one from downtown.

Raptors 53-55 Warriors, 7:36, 3rd quarter

Raptors have regained their long-distance shooting. VanVleet nails his first three-pointer and then… should pick up a foul on the next position it feels like. Instead the Raptors end up turning the ball over.

Raptors 50-55 Warriors, 8:29, 3rd quarter

And Iguodala blocks a Kyle Lowry three out of bounds. Hey look, DeMarcus Cousins is doing something good too! He hits a jumper and picks up a foul… but he doesn’t make the free throw to complete the three-point play.

Raptors 50-53 Warriors, 9:33, 3rd quarter

Gasol with a jumper, Toronto back up front for a split second. It doesn’t last. Thompson scores yet again and, oh hey, Andre Iguodala sighting, he unleashes a vicious dunk.

Raptors 48-49 Warriors, 10:36, 3rd quarter

Leonard hits two three-pointers and just like that they have the lead.

Briefly, Curry hits his first three of the game. Okay, this is looking more like what we were expecting.

Raptors 42-46 Warriors, 12:00, 3rd quarter

And the second half has begun!

Email from Phil Rawlinson:

Hi hunter

Hope you are well.

What do you call a donkey with three legs?

Wonkey

While I don’t think this is actually related to this game in the slightest, this is also the punchline for “What do you call a non-Kawhi Raptors player’s shot for three points.”

The good news for the Warriors? The miraculous recoveries of Thompson and Looney:

22 points at halftime from Klay and Kevon Looney.
Huge lift from those two tonight https://t.co/9kDViNQdH9

— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 8, 2019

Halftime thoughts

How bizarre was that first half offensively? There were exactly four three-pointers made. Leonard hit two for Toronto, Thompson hit two for the Warriors. That’s it. How is that even possible? Is everybody tired?

End of the first half

Raptors 42-46 Warriors, end of the first half

And that will do it for the first half. What a sloppy weird first half. Warriors have the lead, the Raptors are right behind them though.

Raptors 42-46 Warriors, 33.2

Gasol with a dunk and the Warriors cannot get much separation from the Raptors, who they’re out-playing in just about every respect. Who knows where’d they be without Looney, who dunks on Golden State’s end.

Lowry gets fouled and makes both free throws.

Raptors 38-44 Warriors, 2:02, 2nd quarter

Marc Gasol’s been dead quiet, but he gets to the line and dutifully knocks down his free throws.

Raptors 36-44 Warriors, 2:02, 2nd quarter

Curry scores and we hit another stretch where neither team looks like they know what they’re doing offensively. This has… this has not been super-great basketball to be honest. The Oracle crowd is appreciating it though.

Raptors 36-42 Warriors, 3:31, 2nd quarter

Lowry takes out his anger at the Warriors’ ownership with a quick basket out of the timeout. Thompson can’t connect on the other end this time around.

Raptors 34-42 Warriors, 3:48, 2nd quarter

Thompson drills another three. That’s 12 points for him already. Wait, he just scored again, make that 14 points. Raptors are going to call a timeout.

Raptors 34-37 Warriors, 4:40, 2nd quarter

Curry with a jumper and Ibaka continues his great quarter by corralling a rebound and depositing it in the basket with a little hook shot. Lowry adds two free throws to Toronto’s total and it’s a one-possession game.

Raptors 30-35 Warriors, 5:42, 2nd quarter

Draymond Green scores and Oracle gets on their feet. Every time they seem to do that, the Raptors manage to score. This time around Siakam drives to the basket, finishes on the rim and picks up a foul. He successfully completes the three-point play at the line.

Raptors 27-33 Warriors, 6:18, 2nd quarter

Thompson scores out of the timeout. Medical staff looking pretty good right now for the Warriors. McKinnie gets fouled by Lowry, who has been fouling a bunch this series. He misses both free throws though.

Raptors 27-31 Warriors, 6:59, 2nd quarter

Thompson with a jumper, he doesn’t look too bad either. Danny Green misses yet another shot, he hasn’t a single one. Meanwhile, Livingston has made another. Golden State definitely playing with more energy now.

And as soon as I type that, Toronto find a bit of a spark thanks to back-to-back baskets by VanVleet and Siakam and the Warriors are going to want to take a timeout here.

Raptors 23-27 Warriors, 8:38, 2nd quarter

Shaun Livingston scores for the Warriors and Ibaka hits his third shot of the quarter, a long two.

Raptors 21-25 Warriors, 9:25, 2nd quarter

Cousins and Ibaka trade baskets and then both teams go on one of those weird stretches where they can’t score. Not really a smooth game so far.

Raptors 19-23 Warriors, 11:32, 2nd quarter

It looks like that Curry shot didn’t beat the shot clock, so they take it off the board. Ibaka then makes the first shot of the game. That’s one way to cut a lead down real quick on just one made basket.

Raptors 17-25 Warriors, end of the 1st quarter

Curry’s layup is no good but Looney’s tip-in is great. Raptors need a score here and, no surprise, it’s Leonard who provides the spark by hitting two straight shots. That will do it for the first quarter. A crazy shot but a dominant stretch by the Warriors towards the end.

Raptors 12-23 Warriors, 1:43, 1st quarter

Alfonzo McKinnie scores and the Warriors already have a double-digit lead.

Raptors 12-21 Warriors, 2:18, 1st quarter

Raptors just have 2.9 to score but that’s enough time for Leonard to heave up a shot to cut into the Warriors lead but Looney scores again. I guess that second opinion he got from the doctors wasn’t a lie. Curry adds to the lead with a shot that may or may not have escaped being a shot clock violation.

I’ve hit the Stockholm Syndrome portion of watching the NBA Finals where I’m starting to be curious about these cheesy ABC shows. Extreme mini-golf? I’m starting to come around to the idea.

Raptors 10-17 Warriors, 4:06, 1st quarter

Leonard gets called on a foul. Draymond Green goes to the line and he’s automatic as usual. Curry gets another three after a Fred VanVleet miss and the Raptors are going to cash in a timeout right here.

Raptors 10-13 Warriors, 4:39, 1st quarter

Klay Thompson with a beautiful three that’s immediately answered by Lowry.

Raptors 7-10 Warriors, 6:02, 1st quarter

Danny Green misses an open look, proof that it sometimes happens. An alley-oop to Looney who scores to a huge hand from the Warriors fans. Leonard gets to the line, something he’s been doing frequently this entire postseason, making both of his free throws.

Raptors 5-8 Warriors, 6:45, 1st quarter

Draymond Green makes the first bucket of the game. Leonard misses a three. On the other end, Cousins makes a layup. The crowd gets loud but Lowry quickly quiets them with a quick score. We reach our first timeout of the game. That was an… interesting start.

Raptors 3-4 Warriors, 8:30, 1st quarter

Siakam gets fouled by Cousins, which puts him on the line. He makes one of two free throws for the Raptors’ first point. Thompson scores on one end, Leonard on the other. Okay now we’re starting to cook here.

Raptors 0-2 Warriors, 9:19, 1st quarter

Warriors get a bunch of chances to score here and don’t manage to do it. This is getting comical here. Siakam misses on Toronto’s end. DeMarcus Cousins loses the grip on the ball, turns it over. Raptors again get a chance for the first score and THEY turn it over. Finally, Curry gets a jumper to go for the first score of the game.

Raptors 0-0 Warriors, 10:43, 1st quarter

Raptors don’t score in their first possession. The Warriors turn it over on theirs. The Raptors turn it over… the Warriors turn it over. Green misses a three. Both teams are a little ragged to start things out here.

Opening tip

Raptors 0-0 Warriors, 12:00, 1st quarter

And we’re off!

“This could be the last game in Oracle Arena” is the theme of the broadcast it seems. We’re heading towards Opening Tip here after the post-pregame pregame finishes.

Paul Pierce thinks the Raptors are winning today and tomorrow. Jalen Rose agrees with me that the Warriors win in double-digits tonight. I feel better about my prediction.

Anthems

A band called Walk Off The Earth play a weird folked-up version of “O Canada.” I, uh, appreciate the ingenuity but am not sure about the execution.

Four people one instrument what is happening can’t you people afford one each pic.twitter.com/ou3c38wsa3

— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) June 8, 2019

Meanwhile, the “Star Spangled Banner” is performed by (rolls dice) Ne-Yo. Sure, why not.

Golden State Warriors starters

Steph Curry, G

Klay Thompson, G

Andre Iguodala, F

Draymond Green, F

DeMarcus Cousins, C

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver joins “NBA Countdown” to talk about Mark Stevens’s punishment: a 1 year ban and a $500,000 fine. Jalen Rose grills him on the size of the fine, which really does feel a bit like a slap on the wrist. Overall, the NBA seems to be handling this rather well, at least compared to say how you’d expect the likes of a Roger Goodell to bungle it.

Toronto Raptors starters

Nothing shocking here.

Kyle Lowry, G

Danny Green, G

Kawhi Leonard, F

Pascal Siakam, F

Marc Gasol, C

Tune in tonight might be surprised on who my pick is tonight @NBACountdown 9pm est

— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) June 8, 2019

Warriors fans and Raptors fans both going “not it, not it, not it,” right now.

Predictions

So it’s time for a prediction for tonight’s game. Well, since I got my predictions right for Games 1 & 2, I’m feeling pretty cocky here. I’m going to say that there’s no way that the Warriors don’t even it up tonight 2-2. Steph Curry remains red hot but this time around he will have help. Thompson will be back and the supporting cast will rebound from their rough Game 3. I say they win and win rather easily. Let’s say a final score of about like 120-107. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to send your predictions here either through email (hunter.felt.freelance@theguardian.com) or Twitter (@HunterFelt).

One person who will not be at Oracle Arena is Golden State Warriors part-owner Mark Stevens, who has been banned from the rest of the finals after his confrontation with the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry in Game 3. His behavior, which included directly cursing out Lowry, has led to universal condemnation around the NBA. Lowry seemed to speak for players in general with his comments about Stevens:

“There’s no place for that. He had no reason to touch me. He had no reason to reach over two seats and then say some vulgar language to me. There’s no place for people like that in our league.”

Preamble

In one respect, the Toronto Raptors have only done what they absolutely had to do to have a realistic shot of winning the NBA Finals. In a stretch of games where the Golden State Warriors have been without Kevin Durant, their best player, the Raptors won an emotional Game 1 at home and then took advantage of the additional absences of Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney in Game 3. With that, the Raptors struck their opponents when they’ve been at their weakest and now lead the series 2-1.

To say this is not to deny the Raptors their due credit. Heck, they even had their chances in Game 2 where they had a genuine chance to tie the game in the final minute. In an alternate universe, they have a 3-0 lead in the Finals right now. They’ve done all of this without even a hero game from Kawhi Leonard yet.

Now it’s the Warriors who have a must-win before them as they can’t afford to fall to 3-1. Golden State is too banged up and the Raptors are too formidable of an opponent for them to just assume that they can pull off three straight wins, two of them on the road. The good news for the Warriors is that the reinforcements are coming. While Durant is still out, Thompson and (somehow) Kevon Looney, playing with a broken collarbone, will be returning for tonight’s Game 4.

While it’s a shame that injuries have played a factor here, it can’t be denied that this has become a quite interesting Finals to this point. In fact, it’s difficult to predict where we’re headed from here, which feels rather unusual considering the usual air of inevitability that accompanies the Warriors. Could Game 4 be the point where this series finally comes into focus? Let’s find out together, shall we? As always, you can contribute to this blog by either sending us email (to hunter.felt.freelance@theguardian.com) or tweets (to @HunterFelt). Opening tip is set sometime around 9:00pm EST, but we’ll be back before then to document the leadup to Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Contributor

Hunter Felt

The GuardianTramp

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