RAPTORS (13-7) AT WARRIORS (13-5)
9 p.m. ET; ABC, SN1, SNE, SNO, SNW, SNP, RDS, City
OAKLAND, Calif. — Klay Thompson gave himself a green light while the Golden State medical staff threw a stop sign in front of Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney as the two-time defending champion Warriors prepare to take on the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.
Thompson (strained left hamstring) and Looney (fractured costal cartilage on right side) couldn’t finish Game 2, and Durant (strained right calf) missed his seventh straight game in its entirety when Golden State overcame a halftime deficit to beat the host Raptors 109-104 in Game 2 on Sunday to even the best-of-seven series at a game apiece.
The next two games will be played in Oakland, which will be a new experience in the Warriors’ current five-year run of Finals appearances. They have never had a Finals Game 3 at home.
It definitely will be without Durant, who remains a possibility for Game 4 on Friday. Meanwhile, Looney has been ruled out for the rest of the series.
Whether the Warriors are with or without Thompson is out of the star guard’s hands, he told the media on Tuesday.
“If there’s any pain, it will be a no-go just because of the position we’re in,” Thompson said of a call that ultimately will be made by the Warriors’ team of doctors and trainers. “This could be a longer series, so there’s no point in trying to go out there and re-aggravate it and potentially keep myself out of the whole entire Finals instead of just one game.
“So it will be a game-time decision. But I really want to be out there.”
Thompson led the Warriors with 25 points in the Game 2 win and has shot 7-for-12 on 3-point attempts in the series. But it was his defense as part of an improved collective effort by Golden State that flipped a 118-109 loss in Game 1 into a series-tying win.
Golden State had near-identical offensive numbers in the first two games, scoring 109 points in each. The Warriors shot 43.6 percent overall and 38.7 percent on 3-pointers in the loss, 46.3 percent overall and 38.2 percent on 3-pointers in the win.
The Raptors, meanwhile, fell off dramatically from an opening performance in which they scored 118 points to one in which they were held to 104. They shot 50.6 percent overall and 39.4 percent on 3-pointers in Game 1, then just 37.2 percent overall and 28.9 percent from behind the arc in Game 2.
Toronto flew west believing Sunday’s shooting issues were easily correctable.
“We still got a lot of shots. We still got to where we wanted to get,” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said. “We missed more shots than we made (in Game 1).”
That certainly was the case with forward Pascal Siakam, who shot 14-for-17 en route to a team-high 32 points in the series opener, then struggled through a 5-for-18 night that produced just 12 points in the rematch.
Despite the Warriors’ injury issues and the Raptors’ cold shooting on Sunday, both teams enter Game 3 in a positive frame of mind.
The Warriors have gone unbeaten at home (5-0) in their past two series, and they have won their past five Finals home games.
The Raptors, meanwhile, blew out the Warriors 113-93 in their December visit to Oracle Arena, and they are coming off one of the biggest wins in franchise history in their most recent road game, a 105-99 triumph at Milwaukee in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals after that series was tied through four games.
The winner of Game 3 in a 1-1 NBA Finals has gone on to win the series on 31 of 38 occasions in league history.
–By Dave Del Grande, Field Level Media
• The Warriors overcame a five-point halftime deficit, 59-54, to defeat the Raptors in Game 2. It was Golden State’s eighth second-half comeback win of the postseason. Toronto had been 11-1 when leading at halftime in the 2019 playoffs with their prior loss coming against Milwaukee in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals (Toronto led by eight at halftime).
• The series is tied 1-1 and heading to Oakland. In the NBA Finals, the home team has gone 17-21 in Game 3 when the series is tied 1-1 and has won just 14 of those 38 series. Golden State has been the home team in this situation just once before; in 1956, the Warriors won Game 3 against the Pistons, 100-96, and went on to win the series in five games.
• The Raptors are 3-7 in road Games 3s in their postseason history. However, they have gone on to win the last five series in which they were on the road in Game 3 with the series tied 1-1, including both of their first two postseason series this season (Orlando and Philadelphia).
• Kawhi Leonard had 34 points and 14 rebounds in Game 2, his third 30-point double-double of this postseason. Leonard’s teams have gone 11-3 over his career when he has posted 30-plus points and grabbed 10 or more rebounds, 4-1 in the playoffs.
• The Warriors had 34 assists in Game 2, tied for the most a team has had in the NBA Finals in the last 20 seasons — the Warriors also had 34 assists in Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals against Cleveland. Five Warriors had four or more assists, the most such players for a team in the Finals since 1995 (Orlando, 5 players, versus Houston in Game 1).
• Klay Thompson is questionable for tonight’s game after leading the Warriors with 25 points in Game 2. Thompson has played in every playoff game for the Warriors during his career, 120 straight games. Since 2014-15, the Warriors’ first of three NBA title-winning seasons this decade, the Warriors are 11-13, .458, when Thompson doesn’t play and 387-100, .795, when he does (regular and postseason).