The Golden State Warriors are not quite as invincible as they have seemed in the past and are on the verge of falling in the NBA Finals for the second time in four years. The Toronto Raptors can close out the best-of-seven series and earn the first title in franchise history when they host the Warriors in Game 5 on Monday.
Golden State, which once lost an NBA Finals while holding a 3-1 lead, dropped Games 3 and 4 at home while dealing with a variety of injuries and is still not committing to putting former MVP Kevin Durant (calf) back on the court for Game 5, but is not hanging its collective head. "You just try to win one game," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. "That's what we did a few years ago against OKC (when down 3-1 in the Western Conference finals). Win one game, and then you move forward. So, that's our focus now. ... We have won a lot of games over the years, so we'll try to win another one." The Raptors turned a four-point halftime deficit into a 12-point lead after three quarters in Game 4 after superstar Kawhi Leonard asserted himself. "We were confident," Leonard told reporters. "We're on the road, down four, we wanted to come in and have a good third quarter coming out the first five minutes, stay aggressive on both end of the floor, keep our energy up. And that's all we did."
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ABC
ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Star point guard Steph Curry is one of the few healthy players left on the Golden State roster and did everything he could with 47 points in Game 3's 123-109 loss before finishing with 27 points on 9-of-22 shooting while facing a variety of traps and double teams in the 105-92 Game 4 setback. "They have been aggressive all series and trying to take space away from me and Klay (Thompson)," Curry told reporters. "I missed some shots early that I usually make (in Game 4), especially from the 3-point line, but overall I feel like I got good looks, and obviously I'm sure they were a little bit more focused on us two, considering how Game 3 went and having a great game plan." Thompson sat out Game 3 with a hamstring injury and led the team with 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting in his Game 4 return.
ABOUT THE RAPTORS: All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry was held to 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting in Game 4 but handed out seven assists and contributed to the defensive effort against Curry with three steals. "We didn't do nothing yet," Lowry told reporters. "We haven't done anything. We won three games. It's the first (to) four. We understand that. They're the defending champs, and they're not going to go out easy. They're going to come and fight and prepare to play the next game, and that's how we're preparing ourselves, that we have to - we got to prepare ourselves to play the next game. We haven't done anything yet." Toronto is speeding up the game by putting Lowry and backup point guard Fred VanVleet on the court together at times and throws out an elite defensive lineup by bringing center Serge Ibaka off the bench.
1. Warriors C Kevon Looney (chest) scored 10 points in 20 minutes off the bench in Game 4 after missing Game 3.
2. Ibaka recorded a postseason-high 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting in Game 4.
3. Golden State PF Draymond Green is averaging 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 8.8 assists in the series.
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Key Players to Watch
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Golden State Warriors
- AnkleOut indefinitely | out
Toscano-Anderson sprained his left ankle, and there is no timetable for recovery.
- Quadricepday-to-day | questionable
Smailagic is out with a right quadriceps contusion, and it is up in the air if he will return to the fold when the league announces that the hiatus is over.
- Kneeout for season | out
Thompson is recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the entire 2019-20 season.
- KneeOut indefinitely | out
Green has been out with left knee soreness, and a timeline for his return has yet to be established.
- Abdominalout for season | out
Looney is anticipated to be sidelined for the remainder of the season after having core muscle surgery.