Warriors overcome injury woes in epic comeback
TWO-time defending NBA champions the Golden State Warriors have flexed their considerable muscle with a brilliant comeback victory over Toronto to level the finals series at 1-1.
But the win may have come at a cost, with Klay Thompson (hamstring) and Kevon Looney (chest) both failing to finish the game - making the second half comeback all the more impressive.
Thompson left the 109-104 victory in the fourth quarter with hamstring tightness and must be considered a doubt for Thursday's Game 3 (11am) as the series heads to California for two Warriors home games.
"Klay said he'll be fine, but Klay could be half dead, and he would say he would be fine," said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.
"We'll see. He thinks it is minor, so I don't know what that means going forward."
Looney fell hard and appeared to suffer a shoulder injury, though scans suggested it was a chest complaint.
Despite failing to finish the game, Thompson led all scorers with 25 - while Kawhi Leonard's game-high 34 was not enough for the Raptors.
The Raptors exploded out of the blocks and led by as many as 12 in a dominant first half, but were floored by an extraordinary run by Warriors to start the second half.
Having trailed 59-54 at half-time the Warriors went on an 18-0 run in a ruthless third quarter - with Curry (23 points) pulling the strings after having struggled throughout the first half with a mystery illness.
The incredible run sucked the life out of the previously vocal arena, and Toronto was on the backfoot for the remainder of the contest.
"They're a great team, they make runs. but that third quarter we imposed our will and got stops on the defensive end," said Curry.
"And no matter how ugly it was down the stretch, we got it done."
The Warriors are already without star forward, and the MVP of the past two finals series, Kevin Durant - though the superstar is expected to make his return from a calf injury during the upcoming home games, whether it be Game 3 or Game 4.
Toronto made a late push to get within two points, before 2015 Finals MVP Andre Igoudala iced the game with a dagger three with 5.9 seconds remaining.
"The whole fourth quarter they were just trying to send bodies to me everywhere. Our whole roster just took advantage of it," Curry added.
"Over the course of the game it's kind of disrespectful to leave Andre Igoudala open like that. With the game on the line, he's made big shots like that before and he got it done tonight."
Australian Andrew Bogut, who was benched for the entire Game 1 defeat, made an impact with his first minutes of the series - finishing off three Steph Curry alley-oops to have six points on 3-3 shooting in seven minutes of court time.