Warriors sputter at times, fall in Game 1 of NBA Finals
ABS-CBN Sports on May 31, 2019 12:17 PM
FILE - ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 28: The jersey of Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors as seen during the game against the Orlando Magic on February 28, 2019 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been converted to black and white)
By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) — Maybe it was the rust. Maybe it was the Raptors.
Either way, Golden State's offense was not at its usual high-octane level on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) in Game 1 of the NBA Finals — and for the first time in this era of Warriors basketball, they face a 1-0 deficit in the title series.
The Warriors shot 44 percent, turned the ball over 17 times and fell to the Toronto Raptors 118-109 in the series opener. Going back to the 1975 finals, the Warriors had won Game 1 of the title matchup in each of their last five appearances in the series. The last time Golden State lost a Game 1 of the finals was 1967.
Golden State was playing for the first time in 10 days, and trailed for nearly 43 of the game's 48 minutes. The Warriors trailed by 10 at the half, marking the fourth consecutive game where Golden State faced a double-digit deficit at some point.
In the last three of those contests, Golden State rallied to beat Portland.
Toronto didn't fold and let this one slip away.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 16 field goals; the rest of the Warriors combined for only 18. Draymond Green, who did have a triple-double, shot 2-for-9. Andre Iguodala was 3-for-7, missing all four of his tries from three-point range.
This is a matchup of offense vs. defense, the freewheeling Warriors against a Toronto team that has now peeled off five consecutive wins since falling behind Milwaukee 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals. The Raptors turned that series around by clamping down at the defensive end, particularly against Bucks star and likely MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
This time, it was against everyone.
Golden State's two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP in Kevin Durant isn't expected back for Game 2, either. The Warriors have said he won't play until he can return to a full-fledged practice, and earlier Thursday (Friday, PHL time) coach Steve Kerr said it was unlikely that Durant participates in a practice before the team heads home to the Bay Area to prepare for Game 3 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
So if something is going to change on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) when the finals resume in Toronto, it won't be with Durant aiding the cause.