Raptors beat Warriors to win their first NBA title

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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard lifts the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after beatiing Golden State Warriors for the NBA Championship. (USA TODAY Sports/Reuters)
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Fans and Toronto Raptors players celebrate after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. (AP)
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Fans celebrate in the streets of Toronto, Canada after the Toronto Raptors win the NBA Championship. (USA TODAY Sports/Reuters)
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Players from Toronto Raptors smile and celebrate on court after winning Game Six of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. (Getty Images/AFP)
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Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors celebrates after winning the 2019 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 13, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Getty Images/AFP)
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Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors looks on during Game Six of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors on June 13, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. (Getty Images/AFP)
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Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors celebrates his teams win over the Golden State Warriors in Game Six to win the 2019 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 13, 2019. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 18 June 2019

Raptors beat Warriors to win their first NBA title

  • Raptors capture Canada’s first NBA championship with their most remarkable road win yet

OAKLAND, California: Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors captured Canada’s first NBA championship with their most remarkable road win yet in the franchise’s NBA Finals debut, outlasting the battered and depleted two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors 114-110 on Thursday night in a Game 6 for the ages that spoiled a sensational send-off at Oracle Arena.

Stephen Curry missed a contested 3-pointer in the waning moments before Golden State called a timeout it didn’t have, giving Leonard a technical free throw with 0.9 seconds left to seal it. Leonard, the NBA Finals MVP, then got behind Andre Iguodala for a layup as the buzzer sounded, but it went to review and the basket was called off before Leonard’s two free throws. That only delayed the celebration for a moment.

When it actually ended, Leonard raised both arms high in triumph and Serge Ibaka pulled his head up through the hoop by the Golden State bench as the crowd chanted “Warriors!”




King of the North: Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors was named NBA Finals MVP. (Getty Images/AFP)

Curry walked away slowly, hands on his head on a night Splash Brother Klay Thompson suffered a left knee injury and departed with 30 points.

Fred VanVleet rescued the Raptors down the stretch with his dazzling shooting from deep to score 22 points with five 3s off the bench, while Leonard wound up with 22 points. Kyle Lowry scored the game’s first eight points and finished with 26 in all to go with 10 assists and seven rebounds.

The Raptors pulled off a third straight win on Golden State’s home floor that said goodbye to NBA basketball after 47 seasons. And the Raptors did it with the very kind of depth that helped define Golden State’s transformation into a dynasty the past five seasons.

This time, the Warriors were wounded.

Golden State already was down two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who had surgery Wednesday for a ruptured right Achilles tendon. Then, the Warriors lost Thompson — and they couldn’t overcome just one more heartbreaking injury.

This thrilling back-and-forth game featured 18 lead changes, nine ties and neither team going ahead by more than nine points.

Curry scored 21 points but shot just 6 for 17 and went 3 of 11 on 3s. Iguodala added 22 for his biggest game this postseason as the Warriors did everything until the very last moment to leave a lasting legacy at Oracle.

Thompson provided his own dramatic memory. He injured his knee when fouled by Danny Green on a drive at the 2:22 mark of the third, was helped off the court and walked partially down a tunnel toward the locker room, then — shockingly — re-emerged to shoot his free throws before going out again at 2:19. He didn’t return and left the arena on crutches.


Australia can win basketball World Cup, says USA coach

Updated 22 August 2019

Australia can win basketball World Cup, says USA coach

MELBOURNE: United States coach Gregg Popovich has tipped Australia as a key contender at the upcoming basketball World Cup in China, saying they have the ability to win the tournament.
The veteran San Antonio Spurs mastermind offered the praise ahead of two warm-up games between the nations in Melbourne this week.
“They are one of the teams that can win the whole thing, without a doubt,” Popovich said. “I’m not saying that because I’m here (in Melbourne). It’s just a fact.”
The world number one Americans will try to win a third consecutive World Cup next month with a line-up that lacks many of their NBA superstars, with the likes of James Harden, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard among notable absentees.
But they boast top young talent and will use the games in Australia to refine their identity.
They arrived in Melbourne on the back of a 90-81 victory over second-ranked Spain in Anaheim, California, and will play the Boomers later Thursday, then again Saturday before a final warm-up against Canada in Sydney on August 26.
In contrast to the five-time World Cup winners, Australia have never won a medal. But Popovich thinks this could be their year.
“They’ve been close for several years, and they are hungry. They are talented. Coach (Andrej) Lemanis does a good job, and they are a team,” he said on the USA basketball website.
“They are together. They know what they are doing. They execute really well, so that’s what it takes. They have the toughness and physicality to go with it.
“I think they are one of the top contenders without a doubt.”
While Australia boosts a handful of NBA stars, including Utah Jazz’s Joe Ingle and Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs, they suffered a setback on Monday when Jonah Bolden joined his teammate Ben Simmons in pulling out of the World Cup.
Other Australian NBA standouts not playing include Thon Maker (NBA commitments), Ryan Broekhoff (birth of his child) and Dante Exum (injury).