Last Updated: 2019-06-04
After a 118-109 defeat in the opening game of the 2019 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors outlasted the Toronto Raptors 109-104 as 2.5-point underdogs in Game 2 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada, to tie the series. The reigning champions overcame a 12-point deficit with a terrific performance in the third quarter and kept their heads cool down the stretch even though Klay Thompson had to leave the game due to a hamstring injury. Now, the series heads to Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, where the Warriors are listed as favorites to win Game 3 Wednesday, June 5, 2019.
The Warriors missed Kevin Durant (calf) in the first two games of the series, and at this moment, no one knows when KD will return to the lineup. Klay Thompson (hamstring) is listed as questionable after an MRI confirmed a strain, while Kevon Looney is out indefinitely with a fractured collar bone. The Raptors can count on all their players, but Kawhi Leonard is obviously playing through pain in his left knee and right quad.
Golden State opened as a 5.5-point favorite with the total at 213.5 points and the Raptors at +210 money line odds. The bookmakers could adjust the odds when Kevin Durant’s status becomes clear, and if KD and Klay Thompson both take the floor on Wednesday or stay sidelined, we can expect to see some drastic changes.
What’s at Stake?
After pulling off an upset in Game 2, the Warriors will defend home court, while the Raptors will be under huge pressure if they afford another loss. Still, it’s the NBA Finals and each game means everything for both teams.
This is where the Warriors’ experience really matters, and the reigning champions will try to keep the momentum on their side with the home audience behind their back. On the other side, the Raptors missed a golden opportunity to take a 2-0 lead and will need to regroup and get ready for a tough battle at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors struggled defensively in the opening game of the series, and they bounced back in Game 2 with some really tough D. The reigning champions limited the Raptors at 37.2% shooting from the field and 28.9% from beyond the arc, forcing 15 turnovers and allowing just 17 assists to their rivals. On the other side, the Dubs made whopping 34 assists and turned the ball over 17 times.
Once again, the Warriors smashed their opponents with a terrific third-quarter performance, scoring the first 18 points of the second half. The Raptors couldn’t score for almost six minutes which was embarrassing, considering they played on the home court. If they want to stand a chance at Oracle Arena, the Raptors must avoid big drops in their performance.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field, while Stephen Curry added 23 points, snapping his six-game streak with 30 or more points scored. DeMarcus Cousins returned to the starting lineup and had a big night with 11 points, ten rebounds, six assists, and a couple of blocks. Boogie completely outplayed Marc Gasol who was a non-factor with just six points, six boards, and two assists.
Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 34 points on 8-of-20 shooting from the field while making all his 16 shots from the free-throw line, but the Claw was let down by his teammates. Pascal Siakam finished the game with 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting, while he made 14 of his 17 field goals in Game 1 to drop 32 points on the Warriors. Kyle Lowry had 13 points along with just one assist and two boards, and only Fred VanVleet put on a solid performance with 17 points off the bench.
The Raptors need more from their role players in Game 3 which is the key factor for their eventual success along with a tough defense, while I’ve already mentioned they have to be consistent at the offensive end. On the other side, the Warriors just hope they can count on KD and Klay Thompson, but they certainly need to replicate a defensive performance from Game 2.
You need to track the situation around Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. If KD returns, I suggest you take the Warriors to cover, especially if the line stays under seven points. Keep in mind that the Raptors are just 1-13 straight up and 3-11 ATS in their last 14 meetings with the Dubs at Oracle Arena. I highly doubt Klay’s chances to play at a high level if he suits up, and that hamstring injury will surely affect his performance. If both these guys stay sidelined, take the Raptors to cover or be brave and invest on the Raptors at money line odds. Also, consider betting on Steph Curry in the over on his point totals. With all injury problems among the Warriors, Steph will have to step up, and he’s averaging 28.6 points per game against the Raptors in his career.
When it comes to the totals, I would stick with the under. The Raptors are tallying only 101.3 points a night on the road this postseason, and I expect to see a tough defensive battle. On the other hand, the over is 7-3 in the last ten contests between Toronto and Golden State, and it is 8-2 in the previous ten H2H duels at Oracle Arena.
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