The Raptors are one game away from claiming their first NBA title. Despite the return of Klay Thompson, Toronto’s defense shut down this Golden State offense, holding them to 92 points. It was the Kawhi Leonard show, as he went 11-22, 5-9 from three, and scored 36 points. He also had four steals and 12 rebounds. Leonard carried Toronto offensively, given they struggled for the most part shooting the ball. Looking ahead at Game 5, they will have an advantage back at home, but also be able to close it out in front of their fans. There is a dimming chance that Kevin Durant comes back, so it looks like Toronto will take on the same Warriors starting five.
Game 4 Raptors Recap
As mentioned above, Kawhi Leonard was dominant in Game 4. He was +13 in 41 minutes, and scored 36 points. It was mainly him and the bigs to produce offensively. Toronto survived poor shooting nights from Kyle Lowry and Danny Green. Serge Ibaka came in and had 20 points off the bench, going 9-12 from the field. Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam had 28 combined points. Toronto also was able to get 23 points at the line, which was big compared to Golden State’s 14.
Overall Toronto struggled shooting, going 41% from the field and 31% from three. It was their defense that made timely efforts, and shut down Stephen Curry. They also limited Draymond Green in the second half. Overall they were out-rebounded, but forced 19 turnovers and had just 11 of their own. Being able to limit Curry was a big advantage for them. Klay Thompson was the main offensive option, but much like the other games, Golden State isn’t getting enough production from surrounding names.
Raptors Starting Lineup
Kyle Lowry, PG – We have seen some poor shooting performances from Kyle Lowry, but it didn’t matter in Game 4. He shot 3-12, but played 37 minutes and dished out seven assists. Not a bad night, but the backcourt was bailed out by Leonard’s strong play. Toronto opted to put Lowry on Klay Thompson for most of the game, and it didn’t go well. Thompson went 5-9 shooting, and had 11 points. Thompson also guared him for most of his possessions, and he went just 1-5 shooting.
Danny Green, SG – After hitting six threes in Game 3, Danny Green went 1-8 from the field, and 1-7 from three. He scored just three points, and defensively was pretty average. We didn’t see much of him being replaced, but Fred VanVleet still got his 29 minutes. While Green didn’t have a major role offensively, he held Curry to 11 points during most of his possessions. Green also saw time on Thompson, but not much. Overall he was sort of hidden defensively in this game.
Kawhi Leonard, SF – It was a masterclass of clutch shots, as each time Golden State would get close, Kawhi Leonard would hit a dagger three. He had a monster game, and is one win away from bringing Toronto their first NBA title, and a MVP trophy for himself. Nobody could really slow down Leonard, but Thompson held him to 1-5 shooting. He had eight or more points against Iggy, Green, and McKinnie. Leonard continues his rock solid play, and you know the 40 minutes a night will continue to be there.
Pascal Siakam, PF – It was another underrated game for Pascal Siakam, who scored 19 points and brought in five rebounds. He played 41 minutes, and was +5. Siakam continues to dominate minutes, and while he hasn’t had Game 1 type production, he is bringing a quality line night in and night out. Green came out firing early, but Siakam held his own against him in the second half. He held Green to just six points and six assists on 31 possessions. Siakam shot 4-7 against Green in 45 possessions for 11 total points.
Marc Gasol, C – It was a quiet game for Marc Gasol, but like most of these names, he didn’t have to do much to get the Raptors a win. He played 28 minutes, and was 9 and 7 with three assists. We saw Serge Ibaka come in and shoot really well, which gave the position a strong influence. Gasol played well defensively, holding opposing players to just seven total points. Cousins, Bogut, and Looney struggled to get anything going offensively against them, which really isn’t a surprise at this point. Gasol will continue to flirt with 30 minutes a night.
It was the same three players getting run as the rest of the series. Norman Powell didn’t make much of an impact, playing 11 minutes, but he was +8. It was Serge Ibaka who had the big night. He went 9-12 shooting, going for 20 points in 22 minutes. He also had two blocks. Fred VanVleet saw 29 minutes, and posted an 8-4-6 line. He continues to be the first guard off the bench, and VanVleet held Curry in check defensively. In 31 possessions, Curry shot 2-8 and 1-5 from three against VanVleet. He scored just six total points.