Last Updated: 2019-06-06
The Toronto Raptors thrashed off the Golden State Warriors 123-109 as 3-point road underdogs in Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals to take a 2-1 lead in the series. The wounded Warriors missed Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson due to injuries and couldn’t cope with the Raptors, so the reigning champions are in a tough situation ahead of Game 4 at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Friday, June 7, 2019.
The Warriors will be without Kevon Looney (collar bone) who’s ruled out for the rest of this series. They can count on Klay Thompson (hamstring) who missed the previous game with a hamstring injury, while Kevin Durant (calf) is still listed as questionable. KD practiced with the team on Thursday, and with the Warriors down 2-1, I expect to see him back in the lineup. On the other side, the Raptors don’t have any serious injury worries, and Kawhi Leonard (knee) is ready to go.
The Warriors opened as 5.5-point favorites with the total at 216.5 points and the Raptors at +200 money line odds. The bookies could adjust the lines when Kevin Durant’s status becomes clear, so expect to see some slight changes on Friday.
What’s at Stake?
This is a huge game for both Toronto and Golden State. The Raptors will get one step away from winning the championship with an eventual victory in Game 4, while the Warriors just have to win or will find themselves in big trouble ahead of Game 5 in Canada.
The Warriors are trailing 2-1 in the finals for the first time in five years, and this is kind of an unknown territory for the two-time reigning champions. However, they are playing against the Raptors who are in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, so both teams will be under huge pressure.
The Raptors completely outplayed the short-handed Warriors on both sides of the ball in Game 3. Toronto shot 52.4% from the field and 44.7% from beyond the arc while missing just one of its 21 free-throw attempts. On the other side, the Warriors made just 39.6% of their field goals and 33.3% of their 3-pointers.
Also, the Raptors made 30 assists, while they are averaging 22.6 dimes per game this postseason. The Warriors posted one rebound more than the Raptors (41-40), but their defense was terrible for most of the game and will need to do a much better job in Game 4 if they want to tie the series. Toronto played tough defense for all 48 minutes, recording nine steals and whopping ten swats while forcing 15 turnovers.
Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 30 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, and the Raptors’ starting lineup did a terrific job, posting 106 points. Kyle Lowry bounced back from a poor display in Game 2, tallying 23 points and nine assists. Pascal Siakam had 18 points, nine rebounds, and six dimes, while Danny Green added 18 points on six triples.
Stephen Curry had a wonderful night, leading the Warriors with 47 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, but he couldn’t harm the Raptors without any help from his teammates. Draymond Green had 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting; Andre Iguodala added 11 points, while DeMarcus Cousins posted just four points and three rebounds in 19 minutes on the floor.
The things could change in Game 4 with Klay Thompson back in the lineup, and it would be a completely different picture with Kevin Durant on the floor. Without injured Kevon Looney, DeMarcus Cousins will have to step up, and Boogie was a huge factor in Game 2.
I highly doubt the Raptors’ chances to replicate their shooting performance from Game 3, and I assume the Warriors will put on a much better defensive performance. We had a similar case after Game 1, and the Raptors struggled from the field in Game 2, while the Warriors played solid defense to pull off an upset. The Warriors cannot afford to lose here, so I think KD will suit up. Therefore, I’m backing the Warriors to win Game 4 and hopefully cover a 5.5-point spread, but it will be a tough wager if Durant stays sidelined. In that case, take Stephen Curry in the over on his point totals.
I will take the over on the totals for the first time in this series, considering some up-tempo basketball in previous games and mostly a good offensive execution. The betting trends are also suggesting the over. Eight of the previous 11 head-to-head duels overall and nine of the last 11 encounters at Oracle Arena were finished in the over.
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