Klay Thompson has started the last 120 playoff games for the Golden State Warriors: a streak that will come to an end in Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals versus the Toronto Raptors.
Thompson suffered a hamstring injury in Game 2, but remained optimistic he’d play in Game 3. The decision came around 8:50PM ET, 10 minutes before the scheduled 9:00PM tip-off. (Of course, in the NBA Finals this tip can be as late as 9:15PM.)
With the series tied 1-1, Game 3 serves as the first of potentially a couple pivotal breaking points. With Thompson and All-Star teammate Kevin Durant still sidelined, the Raptors are primed to steal a rare playoff win in Oracle Arena. At the same time, Toronto can’t overlook the possibility of a Curry-Green-Iguodala-Cousins core coming out strong and scoring early and often.
If the Warriors take Game 3 without Thompson, they’ll be in the driver’s seat to win their third straight championship. The Raptors would love to steal the victory and give themselves breathing room and a little margin for error before the series returns to Toronto.
Sak Sports Blog Prediction
Golden State comes out with a different intensity, and although the Raptors keep Steph relatively quiet (they can give him even more defensive attention now), the Warriors hold a 57-49 lead at halftime.
Toronto slowly creeps back into the game, with much of the offense originating from the hands of Kawhi Leonard. Pascal Siakim doesn’t return to Game 1 heights, but he puts up 20+ points on Draymond Green, many in the second half. Steph catches heat en route to a 35+ point game, but ultimately, the Raptors outlast the Warriors to take a 2-1 series lead
Raptors win 110-103
Header photo courtesy of USA Today Sports