Raptors reach brink of first NBA title by beating Warriors

Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) shoots while defended by Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston (34) during the first quarter in game two of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. (USA TODAY Sports/Kyle Terada)
Updated 08 June 2019

Raptors reach brink of first NBA title by beating Warriors

  • The Raptors are one victory shy of the first crown in their 24-season history
  • The Warriors seek their third consecutive title and fourth in five seasons

OAKLAND: Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points and the Toronto Raptors moved to the brink of their first NBA title Friday by beating defending champion Golden State 105-92 in the NBA Finals.
Serge Ibaka netted 20 points off the bench and Pascal Siakam added 19 for the Raptors, who grabbed a commanding 3-1 edge in the best-of-seven series, which could end with game five Monday in Toronto.
The Raptors are one victory shy of the first crown in their 24-season history while the Warriors seek their third consecutive title and fourth in five seasons.
“Just (got to) be patient, come in focused and ready to play defense and make some shots,” Leonard said. “As long as we win, I’m satisfied.”
Only once in 34 chances in NBA Finals history has a team rallied from 3-1 down to win the title, that being in 2016 when LeBron James led Cleveland back to defeat the Warriors.
Leonard, who grabbed 12 rebounds in the game, scored 17 points in the third quarter when Toronto seized command, while Ibaka and Siakam’s second-half surge helped ensure Golden State did not overtake them late.
The Warriors welcomed back guard Klay Thompson, averaging 19.5 points a game, who missed game three with a left hamstring strain, and reserve forward Kevon Looney, who had been declared done for the series due to a chest injury.
But the Warriors remained without playoff scoring leader Kevin Durant, out the past month with a right calf injury, and lacking him they were no match for the fast-moving Raptors.
Leonard opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers, giving the Raptors their first lead at 48-46.
Toronto closed the third quarter with a 20-6 run to seize a 79-67 lead entering the fourth quarter, Leonard scoring 11 and Ibaka adding seven in the pivotal span.
Fred VanVleet opened fourth quarter with a 3-pointer for Toronto but was taken to the locker room moments later for seven stitches after a bloody gash was opened under his right eye when he was struck by the left elbow of Golden State’s Shaun Livingston under the basket.
The Warriors got within 97-89 on a Curry 3-pointer with 2:56 remaining but came no closer.
It could have been the final game at 53-year-old Oracle Arena for the Warriors, who move into a new arena next season in San Francisco. The arena has been the club’s home since 1971.
Defensive work dominated early, both teams struggling to make shots and combining for 13 first-half turnovers.
Leonard scored 14 points in the first quarter but the rest of the Raptors shot 1-for-13 and the Warriors, led by six points from Looney, jumped ahead 23-12 before Leonard scored five points in a 7-0 Toronto run.
Thompson caught fire in the second quarter, going 4-of-5 from the floor as Golden State led 46-42 at half-time.


Uefa to investigate Turkish footballers’ military salute in Euro-qualifier against Albania

Updated 34 min 4 sec ago

Uefa to investigate Turkish footballers’ military salute in Euro-qualifier against Albania

  • Turkey’s 1-0 win over Albania in Istanbul came on Friday, amid Turkish army clashes with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria
  • French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had planned to attend the Euro qualifying match between France and Turkey this evening, but has now canceled his attendance

LONDON: Europe’s football governing body Uefa says it will investigate a military salute given by Turkey footballers after Everton star Cenk Tosun scored a goal against Albania.
Turkey’s 1-0 win in Istanbul came on Friday, amid Turkish army clashes with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.
Tosun posted the salute photo on Instagram, with the message: “For our nation, especially for the ones who are risking their lives for our nation.”
Uefa does not allow political gestures.
The win keeps Turkey at the top of its group in the Euro 2020 qualifying matches.
On Wednesday Turkey launched a major offensive in areas controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Dozens of civilians and fighters have been killed on both sides.
Uefa spokesman Philip Townsend told Italian news agency Ansa the Turkish salute “could seem like a provocation.”
“I can guarantee that we will examine this situation,” he said.
Turkey’s military push is now overshadowing the Euro qualifying match between France and Turkey, set for Monday evening in Paris.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has decided to change plans and not attend the match.