The pockets of traveling Toronto Raptors fans in Oakland assembled in one big deliriously happy group after the final buzzer Friday night. They sang their hearts out and marveled at what they just witnessed.
Their Toronto Raptors are flying home from California with a chance to finish off the dynastic Golden State Warriors and win their first-ever NBA Championship in the team’s 24-year history in Toronto on Monday night.
Headlined by a 36-point night from their superstar Kawhi Leonard, and 20 points from Serge Ibaka in his best performance of the playoffs, the Raptors won Game 4, 105-92. They handed the back-to-back champs their second straight loss in Oakland.
Canada’s only NBA squad takes a 3-1 series lead back across the border, where the nation is gripped by Raptors fever.
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Pascal Siakam added 19 points for Toronto Friday, while Kyle Lowry added 10 along with seven assists.
The Raps left the floor stone-faced despite being one win away from becoming champs and making franchise history.
“We didn’t do nothing yet,” was Lowry’s reaction.
A matter-of-fact Leonard wouldn’t let himself be drawn into the slightest talk about what an NBA Championship could mean to Canadians.
“I’m really not sure,” said Leonard. “You got to ask probably a fan or somebody that’s in Canada, or been living in Canada for a while.”
Two days after allowing Stephen Curry a career playoff-high 47 points, the Raps held the Warriors star to 27 on Friday night. Klay Thompson had 28, while Draymond Green and Kevin Looney each scored 10.