NBA Finals

NBA Finals 2019: Sights and sounds from a nail-biting Game 5 in Toronto


O Canada

A goosebump-inducing edition of the Canadian National anthem kicked off the night and the crowd never stopped cheering.

Many in the media section said that Monday's Raptors crowd was the loudest they had ever heard.

One member of the national media told NBA.com, "This is the loudest I've ever heard. I've been to Boston, I've been to Oracle and the Garden in the playoffs. This is by far the loudest.

Celebrity row

During the second time out in the first quarter, the Raptors in-game staff decided to do a roll call, a who's who of the stars sitting in celebrity row.

Canadian actor and comedian Eugene Levy was up first, then tennis star Genie Bouchard. World Cup champion and soccer legend Thierry Henry was next, but the loudest ovation went to the Great One Wayne Gretzky.

Gretzky's image remained on screen for quite a while with some in the crowd in giving him a standing ovation.

Raptors Alumni

At the end of the first quarter, the Raptors took the time to honour past players. Chauncey Billups and Jalen Rose were first up, both of whom are working for ESPN and ABC as studio analysts during the Finals.

Next up was honorary Canadian and known TTC transit commuter Matt Bonner.

Former captain Alvin Williams got a solid pop from the crowd, but it was eclipsed when last but certainly not least Vincent Lamar Carter took centre court. Carter felt the love at midcourt and could be seen mouthing "this is crazy" to Rose.

Musical Acts

OVO recording artist Baka Not Nice took centre court to perform his single "Live up to My Name."

Halftime saw fellow Canadian rapper Tory Lanez perform three of his hit singles as the crowd sang along ahead of the third quarter.

Celebrity Row No. 2

The second celebrity row camera pan featured the Toronto Maple Leafs were in attendance supporting their arena-mates.

Next up was Blue Jays legend Jose Bautista, who got a cracking ovation from the crowd.

Sir Richard Branson was then shown before the most active celebrity in the building, Toronto Raptors Global Ambassador and multiplatinum recording artist Drake, was shown and naturally received the loudest pop of the bunch.


A stunned crowd took a few moments to exit Scotiabank Arena, but before they did, they gave the home team who was leaving through the tunnel a standing ovation.

Stephen Curry stopped feet away from Drake and congratulated every member of his team, including the coaching staff, on the way to the locker room. The series now has life and Oracle Arena will see one more game on Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. ET.

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