Stephen Curry explained he is "extremely proud" of three "special years" playing alongside Kevin Durant, as he discussed his former team-mate's free agency departure for the first time.

Durant opted out of his player option with the Golden State Warriors to join the Brooklyn Nets, having helped the team reach three straight NBA Finals, winning two.

Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and DeMarcus Cousins have also left the Warriors, while Klay Thompson will miss most of next season with a torn ACL.

Curry's team are consequently not the favourites to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy for the first time in the last half-decade, but he made it clear the demands the squad place on themselves will not change.

"The three years we had were special," Curry told reporters at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament about Durant, who reportedly opted to join the Nets while Curry was travelling from China to meet him.

"We had three straight Finals appearances and won two of them. We accomplished a lot as a group. 

"Everyone talks about all the talent we had on that team, but that doesn't mean you can put it all together. I like to look at what we accomplished and focus on that and be extremely proud of that run. Now we try to recreate that.

"There are a lot of changes, but the expectations of how we play, that championship-level basketball, won't change. I'm excited about it."

The Warriors managed to land D'Angelo Russell from the Nets as part of a sign-and-trade agreement involving Durant, and Curry is optimistic about the new arrival, even if he may not stay with the Warriors long term once Thompson is fully fit.

"I haven't had much personal interaction with him," added Curry. "Back when he got drafted, there were some comparisons of our games. He can handle the ball, shoot, pass. 

"Having versatile guys like that can only help our team. The chemistry will develop quickly. It's about encouraging each other and having confidence we'll get the most out of each other."

Curry, 31, added: "I'm the oldest on the team now, so I've got to step my game up. 

"It's a tough business. You knew at some point there would be some hard changes. You talk about Andre and Shaun, they're two guys who do things the right way. They have the ultimate level of professionalism, a respect for what they say and do. 

"They're both three-time champs, and I think they have a lot left in the tank. It'll be fun and weird to watch them on different teams."

D'Angelo Russell is surprised he ended up with the Golden State Warriors.

The 23-year-old guard had been linked to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, among others, this offseason but was acquired by Golden State in a sign-and-trade after the Brooklyn Nets landed Kevin Durant.

Russell discussed the deal when he met with reporters during his introductory news conference on Monday.

"It was a lot of surprises, just all around, throughout free agency," Russell said, via The Athletic. "So, I think it's just one to add to it. I knew it was an opportunity, I knew it was something that could possibly be true. We had to wait until a few other pieces did what they did."

Russell is expected to slot into the Warriors backcourt next to star Stephen Curry next season as Klay Thompson continues to recover from the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) he suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

"I think it's something that, you have guys that can shoot, dribble and play make for others. That's a dangerous combo," Russell said. "A guy like [Curry], who gets hot anytime throughout the game, it's something that gives you an advantage throughout the game. To add another guy that can possibly do that, consistently, I think that's just an extra piece."

Russell had a career year for the Nets last season, averaging 21.1 points and seven assists while shooting 36.9 per cent from three-point range. He made his first All-Star team, as well.

Russell inked a four-year max contract, but many have speculated the Warriors may look to move him for another asset once Thompson returns healthy.

"That's the business of it. It is what it is," Russell said. "You put yourself in position to go somewhere for a long period of time and it may not be what it is a year later. That's the business. I've come to the realisation of that, I understand that. Whatever situation I'm in, I know the business side of it. We'll just see. I can't predict it."

The Warriors traded Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies in order to create salary cap space to add Russell.

It seems incredible now that Stephen Curry could have been the seventh pick in any NBA Draft, but that was the case in 2009.

Ten years on, Curry is a two-time MVP and three-time champion with the Golden State Warriors.

But on draft night, there were six players picked before him - with the Minnesota Timberwolves somehow selecting two alternative point guards ahead of Curry.

Such decisions now look foolish as we look at the mixed bag that is the top six picks of the 2009 NBA Draft.

 

1. Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)

Griffin may not have lived up to Curry's standards, but he has still enjoyed a strong NBA career that might have been even better had not missed his entire debut season with the Clippers with a knee injury. The power forward returned to be named Rookie of the Year and has since made five All-NBA teams, continuing to star with the Detroit Pistons since a trade last year.

2. Hasheem Thabeet (Memphis Grizzlies)

This one definitely did not work out. Center Thabeet was selected by the Grizzlies but failed to impress, leading to a switch to the D-League before he was traded to the Houston Rockets. Further stints followed with the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder, before he was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers and the Pistons. He has not played in the NBA since 2013-14.

 

3. James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Harden enjoyed a solid spell as the Thunder's sixth man, before his career took off in Houston. The 29-year-old could now be considered one of the game's modern greats, winning the 2018 MVP award and making five All-NBA First Teams while turning the Rockets into genuine contenders in the West. There have been some mighty tussles with Curry in the past 10 years.

4. Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings)

It was Evans who earned the 2009-10 Rookie of the Year award, leading the draft class, but the Kings star failed to build on this excellent first season. Instead, he bounced around the league until last month when the NBA dismissed him for violating its anti-drug programme. Evans will not be able to apply for reinstatement until 2021.

5. Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Rubio was not blessed with Curry's shooting talent, but he was considered a reasonable enough selection for the Timberwolves at number five. However, the pick quickly became far from straightforward, with the Spaniard remaining in Europe for a two-year stay with Barcelona before finally joining Minnesota. His NBA career has never really subsequently taken off.

6. Jonny Flynn (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Selecting two point guards in succession was one thing, Selecting two point guards and leaving Curry on the board was quite another. How the Timberwolves must now rue this decision. Flynn was in the D-League by 2010, starting just 10 NBA matches after his debut season. He left the NBA in 2012 and has not returned. Oh dear.

Few players have had a greater impact on the NBA than Stephen Curry.

The Golden State Warriors point guard has spearheaded the three-point revolution that teams across the league have adopted following Curry's success.

It is now the 10th anniversary of the 31-year-old being selected with the seventh pick of what was a historically significant 2009 NBA Draft.

Here, with the help of Opta, we take a look at the numbers behind Curry's incredible career in the professional ranks.
 

3.6 - Since the 2009-10 season, Curry has made, on average, 3.6 three-pointers per game - more than anyone else - with the other half of the 'Splash Brothers', Klay Thompson (2.9), second. Damian Lillard (2.7), James Harden (2.6) and Buddy Hield (2.5) round out the top five.

90.5 - Curry leads all players in free-throw percentage since entering the league having drained 90.5 per cent of his attempts. He is the only man with a percentage greater than 90 per cent.

131 - In May 2016, Curry made history as the first unanimous MVP. He garnered all 131 first-place votes to win the award for a second successive season.

73 - Curry's form that season was a large reason why Golden State went 73-9 in 2015-16, breaking the record for regular-season wins set by the Michael Jordan-inspired Chicago Bulls in 1995-96 (72). 

223 - In his 694 games played, Curry has scored five or more three-pointers in 223 of them. That is 97 more than the next best over the past 10 years (Harden with 126).

15 - The 31-year-old also has 15 games of 10-plus three-pointers made. Team-mate Thompson has five while JR Smith (two) is the only other man to have done it more than once in that time.

402 - Curry holds the record for most three-pointers made in a regular season having sunk 402 in 2015-16. Curry has three of the top five spots in this category, having made 354 last year and 324 in 2016-17. Harden, selected four picks ahead of Curry in 2009, is the only other man to have hit over 300 in one campaign (378 in 2018-19).

43.6 - Just two men have been more efficient from beyond the arc since Curry (43.6 per cent of three-pointers made) entered the league. Kyle Korver (44.5 per cent) leads the way and Seth Curry, Stephen's younger brother, is also ahead of the Warriors guard (43.9 per cent).

2,483 - Curry is third in the all-time list for three-pointers made with 2,483 in 694 appearances. He trails just Reggie Miller (2,560 from 1,389 games) and Hall of Famer Ray Allen (2,973 from 1,300 games), and Curry has a better percentage than both.

6 - On six occasions, Curry has put up more than 50 points in a single game. Only Harden (18) can better that figure over the past 10 years.

Bob McKillop was in the green room with Stephen Curry and his family at Madison Square Garden on June 25, 2009 - the night the NBA was transformed.

Long-time Davidson coach McKillop had been convinced of Curry's brilliance after just two weeks of working with him, later calling him "the face of college basketball" when he declared for the 2009 NBA Draft.

However, McKillop had no idea back then that Curry would become the face of the NBA too - a player whose shooting was so effective he would alter the way the entire game was played.

"I never would have expected him to achieve the incredible iconic stature he has achieved," McKillop told Omnisport.

"No one could ever picture that - not Steph, [his dad] Dell, [his mum] Sonya, nobody."

--

One thing the Curry camp did anticipate that night was that it would be the New York Knicks selecting the point guard at eight.

Dell Curry, a 16-year NBA veteran who was still involved with the Charlotte Hornets, knew the league and had been able to cut through the usual pre-draft bluster.

The belief was that the Knicks - the team New Yorker McKillop "loved" - wanted Madison Square Garden to become Stephen Curry's home.

"Dell knew who was telling the truth and who was blowing smoke," McKillop explained.

"We felt very confident that he was going to go in the first 10 picks. We thought he was going to go to the Knicks."

Two other point guards came off the board at five and six as the Minnesota Timberwolves opted for Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn.

"He felt pretty darn good about the fact the Knicks were still his goal and he was going to get that opportunity," McKillop said of Curry.

But the Golden State Warriors, picking at seven, had other ideas, and the rest is history.

The Warriors have had seven winning seasons, won three titles and made five Finals appearances. Curry has won two MVP awards and been named an All-Star six times.

"It's amazing how things worked out," McKillop admitted.

"It couldn't have been a better script written than for him to go to Golden State. It's given him the opportunity to lead that club and become the trailblazer for their future."

--

It was former Knicks player and coach Dick McGuire, then scouting for the team, who first told McKillop he had an NBA talent on his hands in freshman Curry.

McKillop's son had played baseball with Curry and, when interest from other major colleges was not forthcoming, the Davidson coach made a successful recruiting pitch.

Sonya Curry told McKillop that they would "fatten him up" amid concerns the teenager was too skinny, small and weak to cut it at the highest level.

"Don't worry about that," McKillop told Curry's mum. "We'll take him just the way he is."

Curry credits McKillop for teaching him "everything", though he endured an inauspicious start at Davidson.

He committed nine turnovers in the first half of his debut against Eastern Michigan and yet McKillop kept him in. The following night he dropped 32 points on Michigan.

"We stuck with him because we recognised that he lived in the moment and he was not going to let a bad play get him down," McKillop said.

There were plenty more good plays than bad at Davidson. In 2008 he was the driving force behind a 25-game winning streak that ended at the Elite Eight stage as eventual champions Kansas secured a narrow win in front of 57,000 in Detroit.

Curry returned for his junior year and contemplated staying for his senior campaign too but, thankfully for the Warriors, the lure of the NBA was too strong, and too logical.

"He had advanced so far in the development of his game," McKillop admitted.

"We all felt if he was drafted as a lottery pick, which would have given him more money, then it would have been foolish for him to pass up that opportunity.

"He had such a loving relationship with his team-mates. I think that's why it was such a difficult decision for him.

"He didn't make it until the 11th hour. When he went to bed the night before - in the day he came to class - he wasn't sure what he was going to do. I think he's a relationship guy and it was tough for him to leave his team.

"It was without doubt the best decision for him."

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."

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.

The Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship for the first time in their history after defeating the Golden State Warriors 114-110.

Toronto made history at Oracle Arena, where the Raptors sealed a 4-2 series victory over the two-time reigning champions in the NBA Finals on Thursday.

With less than 10 seconds remaining, the Warriors trailed 111-110 and had one chance to take the lead. But after a missed shot and a loose ball, Draymond Green picked up the ball and tried to call timeout.

The problem is the Warriors did not have a timeout, which gave the Raptors a free throw and possession in the Bay Area.

Kawhi Leonard made the free throw and the game was over. He also made two more free throws after the technical foul to extend the lead a touch more as the Raptors made history.

Fred VanVleet scored 22 points off the bench and made big shot after big shot down the stretch to lead the Raptors to an unforgettable win on the road.

But as inspiring as VanVleet's performance was and the crazy end to the game, the undeniable story on the night was what happened to Klay Thompson.

The Warriors' five-time All-Star – who scored 30 points – suffered a knee injury in the third quarter that saw him leave the arena on crutches.

It was a heartbreaking moment for a team that have had to deal with injury after injury in the playoffs. Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the Finals, Kevon Looney fractured his collarbone and DeMarcus Cousins tore his quad during the playoffs.

Thompson had also already dealt with a hamstring injury in the Finals as Golden State's three-peat hopes were ended.

The Toronto Raptors claimed their first title after sealing a 4-2 series victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Golden State Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers revealed Kevin Durant suffered an Achilles injury as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson offered their support to the star forward.

Durant's injury overshadowed Golden State's 106-105 win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.

Returning from a calf injury that forced him to miss nine games, Durant had to be helped off the court in the second quarter at Scotiabank Arena.

Durant – wearing a moonboot – left the arena on crutches before Myers provided an update on the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

"It's an Achilles injury. I don't know the extent of it," Myers said in tears while making a statement. "He'll have an MRI tomorrow [Tuesday]. Prior to coming back he went through four weeks with our medical team and it was thorough.

"I don't believe there's anybody to blame, but I understand this world. If you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department. ...Let me tell you something about Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant loves to play basketball. And the people that questioned whether he wanted to get back to this team were wrong."

Durant's Game 5 appearance was his first in 32 days, as he had not played since suffering what was reported to be a calf injury against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semi-finals.

He entered the Finals averaging 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game and scored 11 points in 12 minutes in Game 5 before his injury forced him to head to the locker room.

Warriors team-mates Curry and Thompson both shared their sentiments on the incident after helping Golden State reduce Toronto's series lead to 3-2.

"He's going to come back stronger. I know he is," Thompson said. "He's got so much more good basketball in him."

"I just feel so bad for him to be honest. Nobody should have to go through something like that. Especially with this stage that we have," Curry added.

Durant is expected to decline his player option ahead of free agency, with the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets among the reported teams interested.

Although his season is likely over, the Warriors will try to persevere through Durant's jarring injury to come out on top in Game 6 at Oracle Arena on Thursday.

Golden State Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Meyers revealed Kevin Durant suffered an Achilles injury as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson offered their support to the star forward.

Durant's injury overshadowed Golden State's 106-105 win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.

Returning from a calf injury that forced him to miss nine games, Durant had to be helped off the court in the second quarter at Scotiabank Arena.

Durant – wearing a moonboot – left the arena on crutches before Meyers provided an update on the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

"It's an Achilles injury. I don't know the extent of it," Meyers said in tears while making a statement. "He'll have an MRI tomorrow [Tuesday]. Prior to coming back he went through four weeks with our medical team and it was thorough.

"I don't believe there's anybody to blame, but I understand this world. If you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department. ...Let me tell you something about Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant loves to play basketball. And the people that questioned whether he wanted to get back to this team were wrong."

Durant's Game 5 appearance was his first in 32 days, as he had not played since suffering what was reported to be a calf injury against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semi-finals.

He entered the Finals averaging 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game and scored 11 points in 12 minutes in Game 5 before his injury forced him to head to the locker room.

Warriors team-mates Curry and Thompson both shared their sentiments on the incident after helping Golden State reduce Toronto's series lead to 3-2.

"He's going to come back stronger. I know he is," Thompson said. "He's got so much more good basketball in him."

"I just feel so bad for him to be honest. Nobody should have to go through something like that. Especially with this stage that we have," Curry added.

Durant is expected to decline his player option ahead of free agency, with the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets among the reported teams interested.

Although his season is likely over, the Warriors will try to persevere through Durant's jarring injury to come out on top in Game 6 at Oracle Arena on Thursday.

The Golden State Warriors stayed alive in the NBA Finals after edging the Toronto Raptors 106-105 in Game 5.

Despite losing Kevin Durant to injury in the second quarter, the Warriors stopped the Raptors from claiming their first championship on Monday.

Kyle Lowry was one shot away from sealing a 4-1 series victory and a maiden title for the Raptors, however, he failed to sink a last-gasp three-pointer.

Instead, the Warriors return to Oracle Arena on Thursday only trailing 3-2 in their bid for a three-peat.

The top storyline entering the night was the comeback of Durant, who returned from a calf strain for his first appearance in 32 days.

Durant started off hot, scoring 11 points in his first 12 minutes on three-of-five shooting. But he appeared to re-aggravate his injury early in the second quarter.

He was assisted off the court and did not return in the contest – leaving Scotiabank Arena on crutches.

Kawhi Leonard ended up stealing the show, finishing with 26 points and 12 rebounds. His personal 10-0 run in the fourth quarter was crucial for the Raptors down the stretch.

Five other Raptors were double-digit scorers, but it was not enough to stop the two-time defending champions.

Stephen Curry led all scorers with 31 points on five successful three-pointers.

He was trailed by Klay Thompson's 26 points and seven three-pointers, while Draymond Green flirted with a triple-double once again.

The Toronto Raptors have a maiden NBA championship in sight after winning Game 4 on Friday.

Toronto topped the Golden State Warriors 105-92 in what might be the last game Golden State ever play at Oracle Arena to claim a 3-1 series lead.

The Raptors have a chance to close the series out at home and knock off the two-time defending champions on Monday.

Here are three takeaways from Toronto's victory.

 

Shooting was horrendous

Neither side shot the ball well from behind the arc in Game 4.

Both teams combined to make four of their 30 three-point attempts in the first half and finished making just 30.5 per cent. Some hot shooters got uncharacteristically cold along the way.

Stephen Curry was two for nine from range while Danny Green, who made six three-pointers last game, converted just one of his seven long heaves.

When it came down to it, the outcome had to be decided in the trenches.

 

Leonard ascended to another level

Kawhi Leonard has shown he has what it takes to carry a franchise throughout the postseason and had his most impressive championship showing, tallying 36 points and 12 rebounds on Friday.

The Raptors superstar scored 17 points in the third quarter alone and demanded double teams down the stretch as his team pulled away.

Leonard has posted more than 30 points in three straight games, and his best could still be ahead of him.

 

Warriors don't have as much firepower as you think

Players not named Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson combined to score 37 of the Warriors' 92 points.

Golden State utilised 10 players in their rotation, but did not get valuable contributions from their most important role players.

Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins combined for nine points on four-of-12 shooting. Kevon Looney was a pleasant surprise and scored 10 points despite suffering a fracture near his collarbone two games ago, but his efforts were not enough.

Thompson was expected to push the Warriors back over the top when he returned from his hamstring injury, but offense seems to be in short supply now for the former offensive juggernaut.

The Toronto Raptors are on the verge of winning their first NBA titles after upstaging two-time reigning champions the Golden State Warriors 105-92 in Game 4.

Kawhi Leonard led the way as the Raptors took a 3-1 series lead on Friday, with Toronto only one victory away from a maiden championship.

Raptors star Leonard posted 36 points and 12 rebounds to leave Golden State's three-peat quest on the brink of ending.

Leonard – the 2014 Finals MVP – shot five for eight in the first quarter while the rest of his team were one for 13.

He finished the half with 13 points and the Raptors were in striking distance, just four points back of the Warriors.

Then Leonard really turned it on. He dropped 17 third-quarter points as part of a 37-21 frame for Toronto, which gave the Raptors a lead that was simply insurmountable for the Warriors.

It was Leonard's 14th 30-point game of the 2019 playoffs. He has scored more than 20 points in all but two of the Raptors' postseason games.

Klay Thompson's 28 points and Stephen Curry's 27 were not enough to lift the Warriors, who were again playing without injured star Kevin Durant.

Now the Warriors will try as hard as they can to come back from 3-1 in the series, something they have not had to even try to do since the 2014-15 Western Conference Finals.

Golden State won that series in seven games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and went on to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games in the 2016 NBA Finals.

 

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