Kyle Lowry wants to stay with the Toronto Raptors for the long haul despite Kawhi Leonard opting to leave during free agency.

NBA Finals MVP Leonard departed the championship-winning Raptors for the Los Angeles Clippers, where he will team up with six-time All-Star Paul George.

Danny Green left Toronto for a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, but Lowry, who is set to become a free agent in 2020, is not intending to follow them through the exit door.

"I want to be there – I would love to do a long extension, but we'll see what happens," Lowry said. "But we'll have that discussion when the time is right."

Lowry understood why Leonard chose the Clippers, but he retains faith in the quality of the Raptors' roster.

"[Leonard leaving] wasn't a surprise," Lowry added. "I'm always happy for guys, especially a guy that helped do something fantastic and something great. He's an unbelievable friend of mine and is a good guy.

"He made a decision to go home and he is happy with that and I am happy for him. Truly. I am genuinely happy for him. It gives him a chance to be around his family and friends. You've got to respect the guy and be happy for him.

"We are champions. No matter what. [It will] never be taken away from us. Ever. Ever, ever. Ever, ever.

"We're still going to be able to run it back. We're the champions and we're trying to defend our title. I'm confident with our team."

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."

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.

Kyle Lowry says the reaction of some Toronto Raptors fans to Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant's latest injury setback was unacceptable.

Durant was helped off after damaging his Achilles in the second quarter on his return from a calf injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.

Although many Toronto supporters applauded Durant when he made his way off court, there were also cheers when he went down in pain.

Raptors guard Lowry said there can be no repeat of the reaction to Durant's misfortune after the Warriors reduced the deficit to 3-2 with a 106-105 victory at Scotiabank Arena.

"I don't think the fans knew the significance of the injury," Lowry said. "They kind of just seen he went down. In this league we're all brothers. 

"At the end of the day, we're all brothers and it's a small brotherhood and you never want to see a competitor like him go down. You don't know what the circumstances are.

"We don't want anything to ever happen like that. We don't know what's this or that. We don't want that type of stuff. 

"And it didn't change much emotionally. It was just after he went down he went down, and we got on and finished the game."

James Harden and Anthony Davis are among 20 players selected for the United States' provisional squad ahead of the FIBA World Cup in China.

Kemba Walker, Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton and Kevin Love are also some of the big-name players who will be vying for spots on the final 12-man roster when it is announced on August 17.

USA Basketball chairman and managing director Jerry Colangelo revealed the 20 players set to attend training camp in Las Vegas in August, a group from which the World Cup team will be selected.

Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Eric Gordon, Tobias Harris, CJ McCollum and Myles Turner return from USA's last squad, while six new additions are Kyle Kuzma, Brook Lopez, Paul Millsap, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum and P.J. Tucker.

"We're pleased with the players who will be attending the 2019 USA Basketball National Team Training Camp, and we feel we will be able to select a strong team for the 2019 FIBA World Cup," Colangelo said.

"The majority of these players possess prior USA Basketball experience, and we know all of them are committed to representing their country and doing so in the manner expected by USA Basketball.

"Like past national team training camps, this group too possesses outstanding individual talents, while also boasting of excellent versatility and athleticism. 

"We've been watching a lot of players during the NBA season and the six players who we've added to the National Team roster we feel are deserving of being part of our national team program."

Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard are other possibilities after the NBA Finals, though LeBron James has already said he will not play in the tournament, which begins on August 31.

The Las Vegas training camp will run from August 5 until August 9. A further three days of training will be held in Los Angeles from August 13, with an exhibition match against Spain being played the day before the final selection is announced.

Gregg Popovich, USA head coach for the first time, said: "I am excited about getting to training camp in August and working with all of the players that have been selected.

"We've got an excellent cross-section of veteran USA Basketball and NBA players, as well as some exciting younger players who possess amazing versatility.

"I'm appreciative of commitment that our National Team players continue to make, and the eagerness of the new players to become involved. 

"Selecting a 12-man team will be extremely difficult. But I look forward to working with all of the players, representing the United States and doing so in a manner that all Americans will hopefully rally behind."

Rory McIlroy is rooting for the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.

McIlroy raised the jersey of Toronto guard Kyle Lowry after winning the Canadian Open on Sunday at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ontario.

The Raptors enter Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors one win away from their first championship in franchise history.

"It's really cool. I've had such a great week here in Canada," McIlroy told CBS Sports after the tournament.

"The people couldn't have been nicer, more welcoming. It helped I was cheering for the Raptors … Obviously, I hope they get it done on Monday. It's been an awesome week."

The Raptors later congratulated McIlroy on Twitter.

McIlroy shot a phenomenal nine-under 61 in the final round of the Canadian Open on Sunday. He was 22 under overall for the tournament and won by seven strokes.

Toronto, meanwhile, took a 3-1 series lead over Golden State with a 105-92 road win on Friday.

Game 5 is at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.

Kawhi Leonard called for the Toronto Raptors to remain patient after insisting they still have work to do to secure the first NBA title in the franchise's history.

The Raptors recorded an impressive 105-92 triumph on the road to the Golden State Warriors on Friday in Game 4, putting them 3-1 up as the Finals switch back to Canadian soil.

However, while Toronto are suddenly on the brink of dethroning the two-time defending champions, Leonard - who scored 36 points while also contributing 12 rebounds - is taking nothing for granted.

"It's not over yet, so I can't say that we're better," the 27-year-old told the media.

"Just the key to tonight's win was pretty much, as you guys know, playing defense. And towards that second half we started to make some shots, and we just pretty much stuck into the game, stayed in the game."

Leonard has already won a championship - he was named Finals MVP when triumphing with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014 - but this is all new for the Raptors, who have never previously made it out of the Eastern Conference.

"You just got to be patient with it," the three-time All-Star explained. "We were two games away, four games away, it doesn't matter until you get that fourth win.

"We just have to stay confident in ourselves, be patient, don't try to rush things, and see how it plays out."

Fellow Raptor Kyle Lowry, who provided 10 points and seven assists, expects a backlash from the Warriors in Game 5, which takes place in Toronto on Monday.

"We've won three games, it's the first to four," the point guard said. "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. That's how we're preparing ourselves. We've got to prepare ourselves to play the next game. We haven't done anything yet."

Golden State Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens has been suspended from attending NBA games and team activities for a year and fined $500,000 after shoving Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry on Wednesday.

Toronto's Lowry flew into the seats while chasing after the ball early in the fourth quarter of the Raptors' 123-109 win over the Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, landing on several courtside spectators.

Lowry was trying to regain his balance when Warriors part-owner Stevens reached over two seats and shoved the Toronto guard.

After Stevens – who was later escorted out of Oracle Arena – was identified, the league announced their sanction on Thursday.

"The NBA and the Golden State Warriors today announced that Warriors investor Mark Stevens has been banned from attending NBA games and Warriors team activities for one year and has been fined $500,000 for pushing and directing obscene language toward the Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of The Finals last night," the statement read. 

"The incident occurred with 10:37 remaining in the fourth quarter when Lowry dived into the spectator stands while chasing a loose ball.

"Stevens' ban is effective immediately and carries through the 2019-20 NBA season, including the postseason."

Following the incident in the Bay Area, Lowry told reporters: "There's no place for that. He had no reason to touch me. He had no reason to reach over two seats and then say some vulgar language to me. There's no place for people like that in our league."

"More should be done," Lowry added. "He's not a good look for the ownership group they have. A guy like that showing his true class, he shouldn't be a part of our league. There's no place for that."

The Warriors, who trail 2-1 in the series, will host the Raptors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday.

LeBron James called for "swift action" against the Golden State Warriors part-owner who shoved the Raptors' Kyle Lowry in the fourth quarter of Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

James took to social media to express his disbelief that Mark Stevens blatantly shoved Toronto's Lowry after he landed in the seats chasing a loose ball.

Stevens was ejected from the game and later the Warriors announced he would not be attending any other NBA Finals games this year, but James said it wasn't enough.

"Ok cool but still ain't enough! They did exactly what they had to do. Get in front of it before anyone else and plus there's only 4 games left (2 max in GS)," the Los Angeles Lakers star wrote on Twitter.

James followed up his tweet with a lengthy post on Instagram, in which he called out Stevens for knowing "exactly what he was doing" and to ask the league to do a better job of protecting players from similar situations.

"There's absolutely no place in our BEAUTIFUL game for that AT ALL," James wrote. "There's so many issues here.

"When you sit courtside you absolutely know what comes with being on the floor and if you don't know it's on the back of the ticket itself that states the guidelines.

"But he himself being a fan but more importantly PART-OWNER of the Warriors knew exactly what he was doing which was so uncalled for.

"He knew the rules more than just the average person sitting watching the game courtside so for that something needs to be done ASAP! A swift action for his actions."

James also said that if the roles were reversed, the narrative would be very different.

"Just think to yourself, what if Kyle Lowry would have reacted and put his hands back on him," James wrote. "You guys would be going CRAZY!! Calling for him to damn near be put in jail let alone being suspended for the rest of the Finals all because he was protect[ing] himself."

National Basketball Players' Association president Michelle Roberts released a statement on Thursday expressing her concern over the incident, while NBA spokesman Mike Bass stated Stevens will not be permitted to attend games as the league reviews the incident. 

The spectator who shoved Kyle Lowry during the Toronto Raptors' 123-109 victory over Golden State in Game 3 of the NBA Finals has been identified as Warriors part-owner Mark Stevens.

The Warriors confirmed as such on Thursday, while issuing an apology for Stevens' actions.

Toronto's Lowry flew into the seats while chasing after the ball early in the fourth quarter, landing on several courtside spectators.

He was trying to regain his balance when Stevens reached over two seats and shoved the Raptors star.

"Mr. Stevens' behaviour last night did not reflect the high standards that we hope to exemplify as an organisation," the Warriors' statement read.

"We're extremely disappointed in his actions and, along with Mr. Stevens, offer our sincere apology to Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors organisation for this unfortunate misconduct.

"There is no place for such interaction between fans - or anyone - and players at an NBA game."

NBA spokesman Mike Bass issued a similar statement, saying Stevens will not be permitted to attend games as the league reviews the incident. 

"A team representative must be held to the highest possible standard and the conduct of Golden State Warriors investor Mark Stevens last night was beyond unacceptable and has no place in our league," the statement read. 

Stevens was later escorted out of Oracle Arena, and the Warriors announced he will not attend any of the remaining NBA Finals games. 

Lowry was frustrated after the game, calling for the NBA to permanently ban the spectator.

"The fans have a place; we love our fans," Lowry told ESPN. "But fans like that shouldn't be allowed to be in there, because it's not right. I can't do nothing to protect myself.

"But the league does a good job, and hopefully they ban him from all NBA games forever."

National Basketball Players' Association (NBPA) president Michelle Roberts also released a statement on Thursday expressing her concern over the incident.

"We are closely monitoring both the Warriors' and the league's continued investigation into this matter and anxiously await their conclusions and response," Roberts' statement read.

"The NBPA has previously expressed its support of a 'zero-tolerance' policy with respect to verbal and/or physical assaults perpetrated against players. Stevens' status as a member of the ownership group does not alter that view."

The Toronto Raptors will not allow their displays to be affected by the Golden State Warriors' injury woes in the NBA Finals.

The Warriors were missing Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney for Game 3 and lost 123-109 at home, with the recently returned DeMarcus Cousins also evidently out of sorts. 

Victory on the road gave the Raptors a 2-1 lead in the series, but coach Nick Nurse insists they paid little attention to the late absence of Thompson, who had featured in the warm-up. 

"It doesn't impact it very much," he told reporters. "I think we're at the point of this series where we've got to get out and guard these dudes, whoever's out there.

"We've got to get playing our defense, quit worrying so much about special plays, this, that, and the other thing. We need to get into the ball.

"When you're guarding it, be great at guarding the ball; when your man doesn't have it, help, make the rotations; if somebody goes to help, help the helper.

"Fly out at shooters and block out. We've got to do a better job of that if we want to win."

And Kyle Lowry says Toronto will not be concerned by any updates on the status of Thompson and Durant before Friday's Game 4 in Oakland.

"We have just got to prepare the same way. We're a real defensive-minded team," he said. "We know they've got those type of weapons, but we've got to just prepare ourselves to be focused on ourselves.

"And that's the one thing we have always done: continued to work on ourselves and work on what we can do.

"We can't control anything else what the Warriors do, we've just got to go out there and do what we can do to get better, continue to grow, and see what we can make adjustments on."

The Golden State Warriors are going to have to come back in a playoff series for the first time in a while after falling to the Toronto Raptors.

Toronto took control in the third quarter against a depleted Warriors team and came away with a 123-109 win in Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena on Wednesday. They now lead the series 2-1.

Golden State were playing without Klay Thompson, who missed the game with a strained hamstring. Kevin Durant has also been out since straining his calf in the Warriors' second-round series while an injured Kevon Looney will be sidelined for the rest of the Finals after suffering an injury in Game 2 against Toronto.

Here are three takeaways from the Raptors' win.

 

Raptors' starters deliver

The Raptors received significant contributions from all of their starters on Wednesday.

Star Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points to lead his team to the win while Kyle Lowry bounced back with 23 points.

Danny Green (18 points) gave Toronto a big boost by hitting six of his 10 three-point attempts and Pascal Siakam chipped in 18 points. Marc Gasol also added 17 points and seven rebounds.

The Warriors could not key on one player defensively, which made the Raptors hard to beat. Toronto will look to replicate their success in Game 4.

 

Stephen Curry was phenomenal

Stephen Curry was absolutely fantastic for Golden State.

Curry almost single-handedly kept the Warriors in the game for much of the night. Despite being the focus of the Raptors' defense, Curry found a way to create opportunities for himself off the dribble and by using screens.

Curry finished with 47 points on 14-of-31 shooting and added eight rebounds, along with seven assists. He also knocked down six of his 14 three-point attempts.

But, the Warriors did not receive much scoring outside of their lone healthy star.

 

Warriors were a one-man show offensively

No other Golden State player really stepped up to help Curry offensively.

Draymond Green had a solid game as he recorded 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists. However, he turned the ball over four times and had a quiet first half. Andre Iguodala scored 11 points but disappeared for long stretches offensively.

DeMarcus Cousins, who was instrumental in the Warriors' Game 2 win, was one-of-seven shooting and a minus-12 for the matchup.

The Warriors will hope their other stars return soon.

Toronto Raptors forward Danny Green plans to keep shooting amid his struggles from the floor heading into the NBA Finals.

Green is in the middle of a slump after missing nine consecutive three-point attempts over his last three games as the Raptors prepare to face two-time reigning champions the Golden State Warriors.

However, Green said he is not going to change his approach in Game 1 on Thursday.

"It's hard not to think about it, because everybody in the world is telling you, 'Don’t think about it'," Green told reporters on Monday. "Trust me, I'm going to keep shooting. 'Don't think about it'. I'm trying not to."

Green has connected on just 31.4 per cent of his attempts from distance during the playoffs, including a four-for-23 performance against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals – a series the Raptors won 4-2.

"I'm not second guessing myself," Green said. "Whenever I get a look, more so than anything I try to let my defense fuel that side of the floor for me. Be active, try to get in passing lanes, get some rebounds, box out, get into guys and then offensively just run, and hopefully build my rhythm back that way."

Green averaged 10.3 points during the regular season and knocked down a career-best 45.5 per cent of his shots from three-point range on 5.4 attempts per game.

"We have new life now, we survived that series [against the Bucks]," Green said. "I thank my team-mates for helping me survive that series, because if we didn't I would be getting a lot of criticism, not just from myself.

"I want to make shots. Trust me, I'm trying. But at the same time, you've got to be positive, stick with what you know and be confident in yourself. Confidence goes a long way in this league."

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said the team still have faith in Green.

"I don't think anything that happened the last series matters, besides us finding ways to win games," Lowry said. "That’s what we take from that series. Danny will be fine. Game 1, he'll be ready to go."

Kawhi Leonard is unfazed about whether he is the best player in the NBA as he focuses on trying to lead the Toronto Raptors to a championship.

Leonard inspired the Raptors to a first NBA Finals appearance after they sealed a 4-2 series win over the Milwaukee Bucks with a 100-94 victory on Saturday.

The former San Antonio Spurs star contributed 27 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists in Game 6 as the Raptors moved into the decider against the Golden State Warriors.

Raptors president Masai Ujiri labelled Leonard "the best player in the league" after the win, but the 27-year-old's focus is on his team.

"I don't really judge my game like that. I'm more of a team aspect, see what my team is doing. I just want to win," Leonard told a news conference.

"I don't care about being the best player. I want to be the best team. I've always said that.

"Just before the season when we made the trade, Masai felt that way about me. He told me how he felt and why he made the trade. It's turning out well now.

"We're in the Finals - and we're not done yet."

Leonard was traded to the Raptors from the Spurs in July last year, having played just nine games during an injury-plagued final season in San Antonio.

The 2014 NBA Finals MVP was thrilled by Toronto's run, while praising team-mate Kyle Lowry.

"It's great. I worked so hard to get to this point with the season I had last year, just always betting on myself and knowing what I feel and what's right for me," Leonard said.

"I ended up coming here with a great group of guys, a lot of talent. And I just strived with them every day. I just kind of bought into their system.

"Kyle helped me a lot with my transition, on the court and off the court, asking him questions, him just pushing me on the floor as well and letting me know what to do in situations when he calls plays.

"All that hard work just put together, now we're here and it's exciting."

Game 1 of the NBA Finals is in Toronto on Thursday.

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