The Toronto Raptors won their first ever NBA championship by defeating the Golden State Warriors, ending their chance at a three-peat in the process.
The injury-ravaged Dubs have had issues with all-stars DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson during the Finals and the trio couldn’t find their best form or fitness in time to save their dreams of a third successive title.
It was thought Durant’s ruptured Achilles might rally the side to perform at the Oracle, but, instead, Toronto had four players score 22 points or more to secure a 114-110 win and become the first Canadian franchise in history to win an NBA title, winning the series 4-2.
Kawhi Leonard capped off a great series with 22 points while Pascal Siakam (26), Kyle Lowry (26) and Fred VanVleet (22) did their own damage, too.
For Golden State, Draymond Green had a triple-double that featured 19 rebounds while Klay Thompson led all scorers with 30 points before exiting the contest with a knee injury in the fourth quarter.
The Raptors only picked up their first conference title this season and now the Canadians – founded in 1995 – have become the 20th team in history to win an NBA championship.
Kawhi Leonard justifiably picked up the Finals MVP award and if his regular season stats of 26.6 points a night and 7.3 rebounds – both career highs – along with his world-class defence were impressive, he took things to another level in the postseason.
Leonard became just the sixth player in league history to score 700 points in a single postseason with his 30 points and the Scotiabank Arena in Game Three.
Also, since the NBA adopted the 16-team playoff format in 1984, only four individuals have averaged more than Leonard has during an NBA Finals run and those four men are bonafide legends: Hakeem Olajuwon, Alen Iverson, LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
The Raptors took a big gamble trading for Leonard last year and giving up premier scorer DeMar DeRozan among other things for a man that could walk away in free agency this summer.
And amongst the celebrations, fans pointed out the ‘Drake curse’ has now been lifted.
In the past, the Canadian rapper has been blamed for the losses of some of sport’s top athletes, as he posed for pictures days, hours and sometimes minutes before they lose – Roma even joked they had banned players from selfies.
And Raptors’ fans certainly painted the town red.