The Toronto Raptors successfully defended Jurassic Park from the Warriors in Game 1. The game was nothing short from spectacular as the Raptors derailed the reigning champs from establishing grounds on homecourt Toronto. It was a wonderful sight to see veteran Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam embracing the moment in this NBA Finals series. The Raptors was consistent throughout the whole game as they successfully nullified the Warriors’ ability to get the early lead. This Toronto team never missed a beat, maintaining a 10 point lead from the Warriors all the way to the final minutes of the fourth quarter. A lead of 9 big points as the game closes at Raptors 118 – Warriors 109, not too shabby for the finals first timers going against the league’s back to back champions. The Raptors are now in the best finals opening position as they lead the series 1-0 over the warriors.
It was neck to neck between the Raptors and the Warriors in the first quarter. Steph Curry got his early buckets and the defensive effort to guard Kawhi Leonard was in full effect. In the moments that “The Klaw” was all tied up, Kyle Lowry and the Cameroonian Kid was there to pick up the slack that definitely stung the Warriors and made every ball possession count for the Raptors. Pascal Siakam was shining in his moment as he effectively converted every ball possession into buckets. Spicy P picked all the right spots and never hesitated. He was all in the right places, making threes, slashing the paint and drawing fouls that eventually frustrated the Golden State Team. Pascal Siakam made his best game performance up to date with 32 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. What a season it has been for this young player as he is nominated for NBA’s most improved player of the year award.
The Warriors was on their usual rotation plays and was still finding their opening and making the shots all throughout the first half. It was Marc Gasol’s defensive efforts that kept Curry tied up in the second quarter. The big man was there to double team on Curry’s pick and roll and he was also there to get the rebounds after every shot. Not to mention Marc Gasol’s 20 points in the paint with one from the 3 point land. Gasol’s defense in game 1 was definitely instrumental for stopping the Warriors’ assault. At the last minutes of the fourth quarter, he was fouled out, but it was too late by then for the warriors and Big Spain racked in 20 pts. 7 Rebs. 1 Asts. 2 Stls. 1 Blks.
A Taste of Their Own Medicine
It was the collective effort of the whole Raptors team that sealed the fate of game 1. Leonard made 23 Pts. 8 Rebs. 5 Asts and 1 Stl. The Raptors did not depend solely on Kawhi Leonard and utilized all the players in the game. Kyle Lowry played his part very well and landed some thundering threes of his own. Pascal Siakam had a stunning game that leads the Raptors offensive barrage. Gasol kept the Defensive end. Fred VanVleet made a couple of crucial clutch threes making 15 Pts. 1 Reb and 2 Asts. Danny Green was right there with 11 Pts. 2 Reb. 1 Asts. 1 Stls. 2 Blks.
It was raining threes all throughout Game 1 and it seems that these Warriors got a taste of their own medicine. The Raptors definitely took the opening of this finals and established an advantage over the series. The war is not won yet, but it is going to be a long battle for the Warriors this time.