NBA championship-winning head coach Nick Nurse plans to lead Canada at this year's FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

Nurse guided the Raptors to their first title after dethroning two-time defending champions the Golden State Warriors.

With a championship under his belt, Nurse is now set to coach a Canada team potentially boasting Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray and Cory Joseph when the World Cup starts in August.

"I'm getting ready to take another situation soon because I think it's going to make me a better coach," the 51-year-old – who landed the Larry O'Brien Trophy in his rookie season – told reporters on Sunday.

Pressed on whether he was talking about Canada, who are looking for a new coach after Jay Triano stepped down in March, Nurse confirmed a deal was "just about done".

Nurse added: "It's something I'm looking forward to doing... I learned a lot as a coach in that run and I'm hoping this experience will do the same.

"It's a unique time with the World Cup and the Olympics within a short 13- to 14-month window. And it fits in OK. I'm just giving up some vacation time."

Canada will come up against Australia, led by Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons, Lithuania and Senegal in Group H at the World Cup.

Fred VanVleet said there is nothing more the Toronto Raptors can do to keep Kawhi Leonard as the two-time NBA champion enters free agency.

Leonard was named the NBA Finals MVP as he led the Raptors to their first championship at the expense of the Golden State Warriors.

The 27-year-old, who was traded by the San Antonio Spurs at the start of 2018-19, averaged 30.5 points and 9.1 rebounds while shooting 49 per cent from the field in 24 playoff games.

The Los Angeles Clippers have been linked to Leonard, while the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers will also reportedly pursue the Raptors star.

Discussing Leonard's future, Toronto guard VanVleet said: "I think that for us, at least speaking for myself, there’s nothing more that we can do.

"We've done it, the city's done it, the coaches have done it, the team-mates have done it. We've done our job. The best way to recruit somebody is to just be yourself over the course of the year."

"I would assume that he knows what is here and what makes this place special," VanVleet said as the Raptors look to re-sign Leonard. "And, if it's enough it'll be enough and if it's not then it's not. So, it's not the biggest deal in the world.

"He came here and did what he was supposed to do. He brought this city a championship and I think he's earned his freedom in his career to do what he wants to do and we'll all respect and admire him."

Marc Gasol, who was sent from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Raptors at the deadline, praised Leonard when he met with reporters on Sunday.

"I don't think there's any other player of his calibre in the NBA right now," Gasol said. "He's on a pedestal by himself."

The Raptors acquired Leonard — along with Danny Green — from the Spurs for a package centred around DeMar DeRozan in a blockbuster trade last offseason.

Green will also be a free agent this offseason and said he would like to return to Toronto. But, he added Leonard's decision will have an impact on his.

"He can change a whole organisation," Green said.

As Klay Thompson writhed in pain on the floor of Oracle Arena, laying with him in ruin were the Golden State Warriors' hopes of completing a three-peat of NBA titles.

Thompson, having landed awkwardly on his left leg after a foul by Toronto Raptors swingman Danny Green as he attempted a dunk, was helped from the court with what was later revealed to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

At that point, the Warriors were leading 83-80, but with Golden State minus Thompson as well as Kevin Durant, the odds were stacked against them preserving that advantage and forcing a Game 7. However, Thompson – knowing not taking the resultant free throws would prevent him from being allowed to return if able – limped back out of the tunnel to nail both – his brief re-emergence sending a raucous home crowd into hysteria.

It was yet another indelible moment in the history of a 53-year-old building that has been the scene of so many for the Warriors and, as Golden State bid farewell to their Oakland home ahead of a move back across the bay to San Francisco and the glistening new Chase Center, epitomised the spirit that has defined this battered and bruised team's efforts in an absorbing Finals series.

Fittingly, the Warriors did not collapse after Thompson left the game for good and they led going into the final five minutes. A bad pass from Green even gave the Warriors a potential last shot to win and force Game 7, but Stephen Curry's 27-foot three-point effort bounced off the back of the rim.

With Curry – the Warriors' only healthy primary scorer in the closing minutes – being hounded by a swarming Raptors defense, Kevon Looney battling a fractured sternum and a bench woefully lacking in depth compared to that of Toronto, Golden State's success in staying in the game until the bitter end is worthy of the effusive praise head coach Steve Kerr delivered after the game.

"It's amazement that we're sitting in this position with, during the game we have a chance to win the game and force a Game 7 and go back to Toronto," Kerr said. "And you just think, how? How has this group of guys put themselves in position to do it?"

The pride the Warriors and their fans may feel in the immediate aftermath will soon have to give way to a realisation of the extremely challenging situation they now face heading into next season.

Thompson and Durant are scheduled to be two of the big prizes on offer in free agency, but the Warriors will be determined to try and keep one if not both, with Thompson much more likely to remain with Golden State. Yet, even if they somehow hang on to both, the Warriors will be paying lucrative contracts to players largely unable to contribute in 2019-20.

Durant will likely miss most of next season with his ruptured Achilles suffered in Game 5 while Thompson is unlikely to return until early 2020. Any salary cap space the Warriors allocate to re-signing Thompson or Durant will have a knock-on effect on their ability to add to a bench in dire need of reinforcements, meaning the severely depleted side that fell short on Thursday could form the basis of next season's team.

The burden will therefore fall on Curry to carry the Warriors' hopes for their first year back in San Francisco but, with a lack of other scorers around him, there is a blueprint to minimising his impact executed to near-perfection by the Raptors that others will surely look to replicate and make Golden State's path to the playoffs an arduous one.

As the scene of five straight NBA Finals appearances, Oracle was a home built on the spirit encapsulated by Durant's ill-fated decision to return from a calf injury, Thompson's memorable free throws and the Warriors' refusal to go quietly in the face of a deck heavily stacked against them. Yet this final show of grit in Oakland was an incredibly costly one that may turn what should be a celebratory first season at Chase Center turn into a damp squib.

Kyle Lowry struggled to comprehend what he had achieved with the Toronto Raptors after taking the long road to an NBA title.

Point guard Lowry scored 26 points and provided 10 assists as the Raptors secured a 114-110 victory in Game 6 on Thursday to dethrone the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

The 4-2 series success secured Toronto a maiden championship in the franchise's history, while it was also a first ring for Lowry, who arrived from the Houston Rockets in a trade in 2012, in his 13-year NBA career.

"Words can't explain how I feel. It's been a long, long time," he told the media.

"Thirteen years of NBA basketball. A couple [of] years of college. A couple [of] years of high school basketball. And to be able to say I'm a world champion, it makes me feel great.

"To do it with the group of guys that we did it with is amazing, like it's just kind of still surreal. Kind of, it hasn't hit me yet.

"I'm still kind of in this moment of just like, 'Is this real yet?' And for me just at the end of the day, I work extremely hard on my game, I work extremely hard on myself, and I am extremely hard on myself.

"And I'm happy to be able to say I'm a champion - it's been a long time coming."

Lowry was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round back in 2006, spending three years there and in Houston before joining the Raptors.

The 33-year-old has thrived in Toronto, making the Eastern Conference NBA All-Star roster for five successive seasons. He also won a gold medal as part of the United States' squad at the 2016 Olympics in Rio too.

Asked in his post-game press conference if he ever wondered about "keeping the battle going", he replied: "No. I always wanted to keep working, I love this game, I love this job, I love my life.

"I just continue to grow, just continue to get better as a man, as a basketball player, as an individual."

Lowry struck up a close friendship with DeMar DeRozan during their time together in Canada before the latter was dealt to the San Antonio Spurs as part of the deal to acquire Kawhi Leonard last year.

While the trade was disappointing from a personal point of view, Lowry understood the decision taken by Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri and quickly buckled down to make it work with his new team-mate.

"When he made the trade as a friend of mine, my emotions were there, but I understood that I had to go to work, and I still played for the Toronto Raptors," Lowry said. 

"So I knew that that's my job, my job was to go out there and to be the best basketball player I could be."

Nick Nurse hopes his incredible journey to winning the NBA Finals with the Toronto Raptors will "inspire" other coaches.

The Raptors were crowned NBA champions for the first time on Thursday after a 114-110 triumph over the Golden State Warriors sealed a 4-2 series success.

Steve Kerr's Warriors came into the Finals looking for a third straight Larry O'Brien Trophy, but inspired by offseason trade recruit Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors upset the odds.

For Nurse, it completed one of the more unusual coaching stories, with a career that has seen him lead teams like the Birmingham Bullets, Manchester Giants, London Towers, Brighton Bears and Telindus Oostende.

He returned to North America and coached in the G League from 2007 until 2013, before spending five years as a Raptors assistant and finally landing an NBA top job with the same franchise in June 2018. 

"Well, I would hope it inspires some people that are in those situations to keep working," Nurse told reporters after the famous victory at Oracle Arena.

"I always say that all those jobs meant the world to me at the time, winning with Birmingham in 1996, winning with Rio Grande Valley, whatever year that was. And those games and jobs meant the world to me and I loved all those jobs. 

"I think you can't do very good work if you don't love what you're doing. I never really got discouraged. I didn't really care about the level I was coaching at, I was just trying to learn and get better. That's it."

Nurse feels the way the beaten Warriors battled all the way through the postseason despite the injuries suffered by the likes of Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Klay Thompson will have increased the level of respect they hold around the league.

"A hundred percent," the 51-year-old said. "That was hard on them. I think they had a rough year injury-wise, and they kept playing. 

"They got through some playoff rounds and guys in and out. And obviously a lot of things, a lot of bad breaks in the Finals, to be honest.

"Like us, they kept on playing. They were super-intense, high-level games and both teams desperately trying to win. I have a tremendous amount of respect for coach [Steve] Kerr and his staff and their players, for sure."

Stephen Curry admitted it was tough to watch Golden State Warriors team-mate Klay Thompson suffer a serious injury on a "freak play" during Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Thompson was hurt in the closing minutes of the third quarter against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday, landing awkwardly when fouled by Danny Green in the process of attempting to dunk.

The five-time All-Star initially headed towards the locker room but returned to the court to shoot two free throws, hitting both to put the Warriors 85-80 ahead.

However, the Raptors went on to win 114-110 and clinch a 4-2 series triumph, with Golden State later confirming a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Thompson's left knee following an MRI scan.

"It's just tough in terms of a guy like Klay that left it all out there. He was playing amazing tonight," Curry told the media prior to the official injury update from the Warriors.

"And to see a freak play like that where he lands awkwardly. I don't know the diagnosis yet, but you think about the person and the guy and how much he loves to play the game and that's the only thoughts you have." 

The Warriors had the chance to take the lead in a dramatic finish to the contest, only for Curry's three-point attempt to stay out.

Yet the two-time NBA MVP had no regrets with the attempt from deep, stating: "The shot was one I take 10 out of 10 times.

"We ran a play that was kind of - we got a decent look off of kind of a bobbled catch, and I could see the rim, so I shot it.

"I'll live with that. We always talk about that, myself and Klay, in terms of shots that we take, you live with it. I would shoot that shot every day of the week."

Draymond Green insisted defeat to the Toronto Raptors does not signal the end of the Golden State Warriors' NBA dynasty, proclaiming: "We'll be back."

After staying alive with victory in Toronto on Monday, the Warriors saw their bid for a third straight title end in front of their own fans with defeat in an eventful Game 6 of the Finals.

Already without Kevin Durant after he ruptured an Achilles in Game 5, Golden State's bid to level the series on Thursday was further hampered by the loss of Klay Thompson, who suffered a torn ACL in his left knee late in the third quarter.

Both injured players may not feature for the team again - Durant has a player option for next season, while Thompson is set to become a free agent - having been key figures in title-winning campaigns in 2017 and 2018.

Yet Green, who is eligible for a contract extension this offseason, is confident the Warriors can recover from the disappointment of missing out on a three-peat, despite predictions their period of dominance is coming towards a conclusion.

"I think everybody thinks it's kind of the end of us. But that's just not smart. We're not done yet," the three-time All-Star said in his post-game press conference.

"We lost this year. Clearly just wasn't our year, but that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

"But, yeah, I hear a lot of that noise, it's the end of a run and all that jazz. I don't see it happening though. We'll be back."

Team-mate Stephen Curry shares Green's optimism over the future, while adding the Warriors' five straight trips to the NBA Finals had been "awesome".

Curry, who finished the game with 21 points, missed a contested three-point attempt in the closing seconds that would have put Golden State ahead. Green eventually grabbed the loose ball in the aftermath but called for a timeout when his team had none remaining, leading to a turnover in possession and a technical foul.

"It's a one-possession game to keep our season alive tonight. So we'll be thinking about this one, it's tough," Curry told the media.

"But our DNA and who we are and the character that we have on this team, I wouldn't bet against us being back on this stage next year and going forward. So, really proud of the way that we fought until the end and this five-year run's been awesome, but definitely don't think it's over."

Klay Thompson has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, according to the Golden State Warriors star's agent.

Thompson's agent Greg Lawrence told ESPN that his client suffered the ACL injury following Golden State's 114-110 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Golden State's defeat to newly crowned champions Toronto – who sealed a 4-2 series win – was overshadowed by another serious injury after Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles in Game 5.

Thompson suffered the injury in the third quarter on a breakaway – Toronto's Danny Green went up to contest the shot and the Warriors star was thrown off balance on his way down and appeared to tweak his knee.

He stayed down for a minute and initially went to the locker room. Thompson returned to throw two free throws before he was later ruled out of the game by the Warriors with a left knee injury.

Thompson – who was seen on crutches as he left Oracle Arena – had 30 points before the injury.

The Toronto Raptors won their first NBA championship in franchise history and now they have some serious questions to answer.

A 114-110 victory against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on Thursday sealed a 4-2 series triumph and the title.

The questions are all obvious. We will not lie to you. 

But hey, we still have them for you because it is fun to do this kind of thing.

Here are three questions the Raptors have to answer this offseason:

 

Will Kawhi Leonard be in Toronto?

This might be the number one question in all of the NBA this offseason after it was announced Warriors star Kevin Durant had ruptured his Achilles. Kawhi Leonard is the best player on the free-agent market and the Raptors have him — for now.

So, did Toronto do enough this season to convince Leonard to stay? Or will he move on to another team following a second Finals MVP award?

Whatever the star forward decides will determine the team's future going forward. If he re-signs, the Raptors are instantly a favourite to get back to the NBA Finals. If he leaves, they may have to start building around Pascal Siakam.

 

Do they want to keep Marc Gasol?

Marc Gasol is a great defender, a good offensive player and has been a pivotal part of the Raptors' postseason run. But is he a player Toronto want to bring back?

He struggled to fit into the team's push-the-pace offense for a good portion of the playoffs and will be 35 next season. He has a player option for 2019-20, so he could simply opt in and come back, but it remains to be seen if he even wants to do that.

So, was he just a rental or is he part of the team's future?

 

What do you do with Danny Green?

Danny Green is another player who ran into some problems at times this season, but he has always been someone who is a bit streaky.

Green – who was part of the trade to bring Leonard to Toronto from the San Antonio Spurs at the start of the season – will be a free agent after this campaign, but he is a valuable three-point shooter and defender.

But, he will be 32 next year and it may be more logical to bring in a younger player to match what he does on the floor. Younger players, however, have not been where Green has. He is a veteran of 123 playoff games and has made appearances in three NBA Finals. Odds are those stats will not be on the open market.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr hailed his "incredible" team after they dealt with "devastating" injuries in their loss to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.

Two-time reigning champions the Warriors were dethroned by the Raptors on Thursday following a 114-110 defeat in Game 6 at Oracle Arena.

Already missing star Kevin Durant after he ruptured his Achilles in Game 5, Klay Thompson went down with a knee injury as the Raptors went on to seal their first NBA title thanks to a 4-2 series win.

It snapped Golden State's domination after five successive Finals but Kerr was in awe of his team post-game in the Bay Area.

"I want to congratulate Toronto," Kerr told reporters. "They're a fantastic basketball team. Great defensively, share the ball, play a beautiful style, a lot of great two-way players and a lot of veteran players who have been in this league contributing for a long time.

"And so I'm very happy for them. Winning a championship is the ultimate in this league, and they have got a lot of guys who have earned this. Congrats to Toronto, to their organisation, to their fans, they are a worthy champion.

"Let me say a couple of words about our team. It's actually, it's hard to put into words how I feel about our team. What I've witnessed as their coach over the last five years is just an incredible combination of talent and character and commitment to each other.

"This just doesn't happen. A group of guys like this doesn't come around together and do what they did over the last five years. And I've been lucky enough to be their coach. That's what I told them in the locker room. I can't tell you my gratitude in terms of just being put in this position to be with this group and to coach them and to help them.

"But I could not be any luckier as a coach to be with these guys every day and to watch them compete and, boy, do they compete. I think they showed that throughout this series and throughout the playoffs."

Thompson poured in 30 points before he suffered a knee injury midway through the third quarter – the Warriors star later seen on crutches.

"It's amazement that we're sitting in this position with, during the game we have a chance to win the game and force a Game 7 and go back to Toronto, and you just think, how? How has this group of guys put themselves in position to do it?" Kerr continued.

"And then when Klay goes down and is out for the game, it's just sort of a, you've got to be kidding me, like this has to stop. But it's just the way it's gone. I don't know if it's related to five straight seasons of playing 100-plus games and just all the wear and tear, but it's devastating."

Kerr added: "It's just the nature of these injuries, the severity of these injuries. And we'll know more about Klay. But we can sit here and say, well, if this hadn't happened or that hadn't happened, that doesn't matter.

"What matters is Kevin Durant is going to miss next season with an Achilles tear and Klay suffered a knee injury. And we'll know more before too long. But it's just brutal. It's just brutal of what these guys have had to deal with and what they're dealing with right now."

The Golden State Warriors will not be crowned the NBA's three-time defending champions.

The Warriors lost their last game at Oracle Arena to the Toronto Raptors 114-110 on Thursday in Game 6 of the Finals.

This could be the end of a dynasty built in Oakland, as several players could go elsewhere ahead of the team's move to San Francisco.

Here are three reasons why Golden State lost to Toronto.

Lack of depth

The Warriors put together one of the most intimidating starting lineups ever last offseason. The addition of DeMarcus Cousins gave them five players with All-Star experience, but the bench matters in the postseason.

Speculation about the strength of Golden State's reserves has been going on since the start of 2018-19. While they retained Kevin Durant with a one-year, $30million deal and got a bargain on Cousins due to his recovery from an Achilles tear, the second unit's impact diminished.

Key role players from years past like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston combined for just 13.2 points per game in the 2019 playoffs. Iguodala has struggled with calf tightness and has not looked like himself as the postseason has wound down. But he is just one Warrior who has been hobbled.

Durant ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 and went out for the series, Kevon Looney fractured his collarbone and Klay Thompson missed his first career playoff game with a hamstring injury while leaving with a knee injury in Game 6. Despite Golden State being short-handed, Steve Kerr seemed reluctant to play Cousins, who was a 2018 All-Star starter. His performance has simply been inconsistent since he tore his quad in the first round.

A supporting cast composed of Jordan Bell, Jonas Jerebko, Quinn Cook and Alfonzo McKinnie simple could not cut it this time around given the circumstances, especially playing against a Raptors bench peaking at the perfect time.

 

Poor team three-point shooting

This probably sounds strange, but the Warriors have not been that great shooting the long ball as a team. The 'Splash Brothers' did their job, though.

Entering Game 6, Stephen Curry and Thompson accounted for 60.3 per cent of Golden State's makes from behind the arc. They shot a combined 40.3 per cent from range while the rest of the team were just 33.6 per cent.

By no means is Draymond Green a sharpshooter, but his career-low 22.6 per cent clip from deep did not do his team any favours, even if he is nearly averaging a triple-double. In the absence of Durant, some critical weaknesses have been exposed.

 

The Raptors were too versatile

Kawhi Leonard became the face of Toronto basketball in less than a year, but the team are more than him.

The emergence of Fred VanVleet and contributions from Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka added to the team's offensive and defensive prowess. VanVleet was essential to defending Curry and he also knocked down some crucial three-pointers in the series.

Siakam dazzled in his first Finals appearance while Ibaka provided much-needed veteran experience. And then there is still five-time All-Star Kyle Lowry to worry about.

Needless to say, Toronto had too many options to pick Golden State apart.

Kawhi Leonard revelled in the Toronto Raptors' first NBA title after beating the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 on Thursday.

The Raptors completed a 4-2 series win in the NBA Finals courtesy of a 114-110 victory at Oracle Arena.

Leonard became just the third player to win the Finals MVP with two different teams, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James, having also claimed the prize with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

After playing just nine games with the Spurs last season due to a quad injury before being traded to the Raptors in July 2018, Leonard reflected on a difficult period.

"Last summer, I was going through a lot, I was going through a lot, and I had a great support system," he told ESPN.

"I just kept working hard, working hard and had my mind set on this goal right here. I came to a team, their mindset was the same as mine, trying to get that Larry [O'Brien Trophy] over there.

"This is what I play basketball for, this is what I work out for all summer, during the season, and I am happy that my hard work paid off."

After just one campaign with the Raptors, Leonard is set to become a free agent in the offseason.

But the 27-year-old said any talk about his future would have to wait.

"I'm going to enjoy this with my team-mates and coaches and think about that later," Leonard said.

The Toronto Raptors won their first title in franchise history with a 114-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

This all started last year when the Raptors was swept by LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs.

Toronto went for it after that, trading for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green and picking up Marc Gasol at the deadline.

It turned into an Eastern Conference title and eventually a championship.

Here are seven key stats from the Raptors' title run:

 

732: Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard scored 732 points in the postseason, which is the third most by any player in playoff history (LeBron James, 2018 and Michael Jordan, 1992).

16: Toronto's Fred VanVleet hit 16 three-pointers in this series, setting an NBA record for the most shots made from beyond the arc off the bench in a Finals. JR Smith and Robert Horry are now tied for second with 15.

26, 10: Kyle Lowry scored 26 points and added 10 assists in the Raptors' win. He is just the sixth player ever to have 25 or more points and 10 or more assists in Game 6 or 7 of an NBA Finals. He joins LeBron James as the only other player to do it on the road.

(Ditto): Pascal Siakam also scored 26 points and added 10 rebounds for the triumphant Raptors.

0 for 9: Warriors star Stephen Curry is now 0 for 9 in the playoffs on shots to take the lead in the last 24 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime.

Nine: Nick Nurse became the ninth rookie head coach to win an NBA title. He is the first since Cleveland's Tyronn Lue in 2016-17.

34: Danny Green is the 34th North Carolina Tar Heel to win an NBA title. That is more than any other college program. He is the ninth former UNC player to win multiple rings.

Kawhi Leonard has been named the NBA Finals MVP after helping the Toronto Raptors win their first championship.

Leonard led the Raptors to a 114-110 win over two-time reigning champions the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 on Thursday.

The Raptors star posted 22 points as Toronto sealed a 4-2 series victory at Oracle Arena.

Leonard averaged 28.5 points and 9.8 rebounds in the six games against Golden State, who were dethroned on home court.

The two-time NBA champion is just the third player ever to win the Finals MVP with two different teams, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James after inspiring the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

Leonard almost singlehandedly carried the Raptors to the first title in franchise history.

The Raptors went to him time-and-again for clutch buckets and he delivered. He even knocked down one of the biggest shots in franchise history: a crazy bouncing buzzer beater in the fourth quarter of Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round.

Toronto acquired Leonard — along with Danny Green — from the Spurs in exchange for a package centred around DeMar DeRozan in a blockbuster trade last offseason.

Leonard is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent later this month.

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