As TSN and Sportsnet continue to air every Raptors game from last year's road to the NBA title, we'll be featuring game recaps and other written content to transport you back in time for a complete experience of reliving the most memorable stretch of basketball in Toronto's history.
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This story was originally published on June 2, 2019.
The Golden State Warriors stole Game 2 on the road, defeating the Toronto Raptors, 109-104.
A massive third quarter run changed the game for Golden State, turning a five-point deficit at the half into an eight-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
Klay Thompson scored a team-high 25 points despite leaving the game in the fourth quarter with hamstring tightness. Stephen Curry scored 23 points, Draymond Green recorded a near-triple-double of 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists and DeMarcus Cousins stepped up to his starting role by going for 11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocks in a solid 28 minutes of playing time.
The Warriors unselfishness prevailed in this contest, recording 34 assists on 38 made field goals.
Kawhi Leonard did all he could, scoring 34 points to go with 14 rebounds, but needed more help from the rest of the Raptors starters to prevent Golden State from evening the series.
For more on Game 2, we have you covered below...
Klay catches fire
The Raptors led by a slim margin of five points at the half despite playing what seemed like a significantly better half than the Warriors.
A lot of the credit for keeping Golden State close could be attributed to Klay Thompson, who wasted no time to get going in Game 2. Thompson came out gunning, looking to shoot the second he touched the ball from the get-go.
He scored his team's first nine points of the game to get off to a hot start, but foul trouble hindered his ability to truly explode in the first quarter. His 11 points after the first frame surpassed his scoring total at the half of Game 1 and even after being forced to the bench with a pair of fouls, Thompson stayed hot in the second quarter.
He had 18 points at the half shooting 7-for-10 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from long range. He and Stephen Curry made up for 34 out of the team's 54 points at the break.
Klay Thompson leads all scorers at the break of Game 2 with 18 PTS, 3-3 3PM! #StrengthInNumbers #NBAFinals presented by @YouTubeTV on ABC & TSN pic.twitter.com/sTkScuf6Jj- NBA (@NBA) June 3, 2019
Without Thompson's scoring output, the Warriors would have found themselves in a much greater hole heading into the second half.
Thompson kept things going in the third quarter but an injury following a shot attempt in the fourth quarter sidelined him for the rest of the game. He was ruled out with left hamstring tightness, but not before finishing with 25 points, five rebounds and five assists shooting 10-for-17 (58.8%) from the field and 4-for-6 (66.7%) from beyond the arc.
Warriors third quarter run
As we've seen them do so many times, the Warriors flipped this game on its head with a third quarter run.
To start the second half, Golden State went on a 20-3 run to turn what was a five-point halftime deficit into a 12-point lead midway through the third. The Warriors' run was sparked by a combination of great defence and the Raptors simply failing to knock down shots.
Dating back to the first half, Toronto went six minutes and 43 seconds without converting a field goal. It took them nearly six minutes to buy a bucket in the third quarter, going 0-for-8 from the field with five turnovers before their first made shot.
Over that same stretch, the Warriors shot 8-for-12 from the field, assisting on every made field goal. They knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and had active hands on defence, coming up with three steals and two blocks.
Thompson carried over his hot hand from the first half, scoring a team-best seven points on the run.
At the end of the third quarter Golden State had an eight-point lead, outscoring the Raptors 34-21 in the frame. If not for Kawhi Leonard's 12 points and aggressiveness to continue attacking, getting to the free throw line five times for five made free throws, Toronto may have been completely out of the contest after suffering a classic third quarter blow from the defending champions.
Kawhi bounces back
Leonard didn't have his best performance in Game 1, but his team was still able to get the job done. In Game 2, he did everything he could to try and will the Raptors to victory but the rest of the starters failed to step up and give their superstar the help he needed.
Kawhi finished with 34 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block. He was relentless in attacking the hoop, getting to the free throw line 16 times, converting all 16 of his free throw attempts. It was the second-most free throws he's attempted in a game this season, showing just how aggressive he was in trying to assert himself into the paint to collapse and put pressure on the Warriors defence.
As mentioned above, he was the reason the Raptors survived the Warriors third quarter run. He came up with a number of clutch rebounds on both ends of the floor down the stretch to continue to give Toronto opportunities to try and complete the comeback, but unfortunately he couldn't find his shooting touch in the fourth quarter.
He was 1-for-6 from the field and 0-for-3 from long range in the fourth quarter as fatigue looked to set in from the high motor he was playing with all game. Should he have gotten a couple of those shots to fall, Leonard may have been able to almost single-handedly pull out the win for the Raptors.
Aside from his shooting in the fourth quarter, Kawhi was terrific in this contest, but the rest of the starting unit couldn't pull it together to take a 2-0 series lead.
Raptors bench comes to play again
The Raptors second unit was a liability to start the playoffs. At points in the second round series with the Philadelphia 76ers it looked as if the bench could prevent Toronto from advancing in the postseason.
After falling down 2-1 to the Milwaukee Bucks the second unit has stepped up considerably in every contest. That high level of play continued in Game 2 of The Finals, as Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka all contributed quality minutes off the bench.
Powell finished a team-best plus-13 in 21 minutes of playing time, scoring seven points to go with a pair of assists. In limited playing time (16 minutes), Ibaka added seven points, 10 rebounds (three offensive) and two steals.
VanVleet was stellar yet again, playing 38 minutes (third most on the team) scoring 17 points with four rebounds, three steals and two assists while also doing his best in trying to stop Curry for the second contest in a row. He also became a reliable option to handle the ball once Kyle Lowry fouled out of the contest in the fourth quarter.
The second unit, alongside the play of Leonard, kept the Raptors in this game.
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