Raptors and Warriors eye Game 4 glory
Game 4 of the NBA Finals looks likely to be a clash of the titans with both teams not willing to give an inch.
This all-important Game 4 sees the high-flying Toronto Raptors again taking aim at the wounded and limping Golden State Warriors in Oakland. The Raptors lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 and they don’t look like stopping with glory in sight. Its up to Stephen Curry and the rest of the available Warriors to step up and level things again, but the task might be too great.
The game tips off at 03:00am on Saturday morning and there is a lot on the line. The franchise from Toronto could take a mammoth 3-1 lead and that could start the ringing of the championship death knell for the Warriors. Game 4 takes place in Oracle Arena in Oakland and depending on results this could be the final time that the Warriors play in what has been their home for almost 50 years, they move to Chase Center in San Francisco next season. This is a big deal for the Warriors and for Steph Curry who is more focused on drawing level with the Raps than this being a potential farewell to Oracle,“Being down 2-1 gives us all the motivation we need, honestly. There is a bigger story around this building, and it being the last year and what's at stake with that, but it all kind of boils down to us trying to win a championship no matter where we're playing at.”
Injuries have stalked the Dubs this Finals with Kevin Durant ruled out of the fourth game of the series. In Game 3 Klay Thompson missed his first playoff clash after having featured in 120 games without an absence. Now his team is down 2-1 and many have felt the pressure might be too much for the reigning champions, Thompson doesn’t feel that way, “If I hadn't been here before, knowing that we could do this in this position, it would have been very hard. But knowing that you have to win three more games, that helped a lot, honestly, and knowing we could do it helps.”
"Being down 2-1 gives us all the motivation we need, honestly." - Warriors guard Stephen Curry on the Warriors' motivation heading into Game 4
The Raptors are in the position of strength in this series with the game advantage over the Warriors. It is all new for the team from Canada who have never been here before. For one of their best players, Cameroonian Pascal Siakam, this is a whole new experience altogether in only his third season in the NBA. He’s seen as the frontrunner for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, his 32-point performance in Game 1 of the NBA Finals was an outstanding effort. Siakam has since scored 12 points in Game 2 and 18 points in Game 3. His production on the offensive end has been the most impressive aspect of his first Finals showing. He is aware that there is a long road ahead for him and his teammates as they look to take down the Warriors, “I think it's going to get tougher, it's going to get even tougher and you have to be right in the mind and be ready for the challenge and obviously you just got to work, continue to work on things and to continue to improve and get better in the series.”
It is set to be a battle royal in Oakland on Saturday morning and the winner will feel they will have all the momentum required to become champions.