Wow. Just wow.
Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals was an absolute rollercoaster. Big shot after big shot, huge defensive plays from both teams and Fred VanVleet once again seeming like he’s never missed a jump shot in his life.
The game started out with a bang. Kyle Lowry went on an 11-0 run by himself, including three 3s. Golden State quickly responded and both sides seemed to hit shot after shot. Kevon Looney, who was ruled out for the entire series after game 2 AND game 5, suited up and started the game at the Center spot for the Warriors. Golden State shifted in and out of a 2-1-2 zone whilst Toronto hit 7 threes in the first quarter. Toronto ended the quarter leading 33-32.
The second quarter was just as much of a grind as the first quarter. Bodies flying around, desperation from both sides. Toronto desperate to clinch the Larry O’Brien Trophy, Golden State desperate just to stay alive. Game 6 Klay seemed to come alive here, finishing the half with 18 points which included being fouled shooting the 3-ball three separate times. The half ended 60-57 Toronto.
The third quarter is where the action really arose. Golden State’s famous third quarter runs seemed like it was going to melt down Oracle Arena one last time. Klay’s shooting was the juice that kept the Warriors running, he was their heart.
Then it happened.
Klay got the outlet pass on a fast break and there was no one between him and the rim. Danny Green came from behind to contest the shot and Klay landed awkwardly on his left knee, immediately grimacing in what seemed to be immense pain while lying on the court. He was helped off the court, leaning on others for support as he walked back to the locker room. He was fouled on the play so if he left the court and didn’t shoot the free throws then he would not be able to return for the rest of the game.
So back he came.
How Oracle Arena did not crumble to the ground as he emerged from the tunnel to shoot his free throws is still beyond me. But he knocked them both down and returned to the locker room where he was promptly ruled out for the game and left the arena on crutches.
The fourth was down to Steph to carry the Warriors’ hopes of a game 7. But he was 0-8 to finish the game and the Warriors were only kept alive by their veterans and DeMarcus Cousins. The Raptors, however, had other plans. They could not have cared less about the Warriors’ dynasty. Siakam, VanVleet, Leonard and Lowry seemed to have the answer to everything the Warriors threw at them, and after a Chris Webber-esque finish it was only fitting that Kawhi would hit the free throws with less than a second left on the clock to seal Toronto’s first ever championship.
After being down to Milwaukee 2-0, everyone counted the Raptors out. After they came toe-to-toe with the Warriors, everyone counted the Raptors out.
But here they are, champions of the basketball world.