One point, one basket…that’s all that stood in the way of Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors celebrating an NBA Championship Monday night in Toronto. They lost to the Warriors 106-105.
The Raptors trailed most of the game and had a chance to win it. They had the ball with ten seconds to play. Kawhi Leonard out top worked the ball to VanVleet behind the three-point arc. Instead of attempting a game-winning shot VanVleet with four seconds to play passed the ball into the corner to Kyle Lowry for a three-point try. Lowry’s shot was way off the mark to the disappointment of Raptors fans, Canada and much of Rockford, Illinois VanVleet’s home town.
VanVleet scored 11 points in 27 minutes of action. He did most of his scoring in the third quarter when he sank three three-point shots.
VanVleet’s other notable moment came in the first half when he drove the lane on Kevin Durant. The two men collided. Durant was whistled for a foul and Durant and VanVleet exchanged words.
It was a mixed night for Durant. He started and played for the first time in over a month. He scored 11 points in the first quarter while making three three-point shots. But late in the second quarter he re-injured his leg and he left the game for good. He was later seen on crutches. It’s highly unlikely he’ll play again in the series.
The Warriors were led by Steph Curry’s 31 points. Klay Thompson scored 26 including a three-pointer that turned out to be the winning basket.
Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points for the Raptors but he had his worst shooting night of the series. Me made only 9 of 24 shots from the field. The Raptors as a team shot poorly from distance. They made only 8 of 32 three-point attempts (25%).
The series moves back to Oakland for game six on Thursday night. That game can be seen on WTVO 17 at 8 p.m. CT.
If a seventh game is needed that will be played Sunday night in Toronto.