With all the injuries the Warriors were dealing with in Game Three, it would have been shocking if Golden State had won. But with Klay Thompson expected back in Game Four and Kevin Durant possibly playing as well, things could soon get very interesting in the NBA Finals. But is it going to be too late for the Warriors? Could the Raptors score another upset?
Toronto Raptors @ Golden State Warriors
Friday 7th June 2019
- Spread: Warriors by 5.5
- Over/Under: 216
- Money Line: Raptors +199; Warriors -229
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The Raptors have been getting a break with Kevin Durant on the bench. But with Klay Thompson out for Game Three as well, Toronto practically had a road win gift-wrapped for them Wednesday night. Of course, to unwrap that present the still needed to do something that they didn’t do too well in Game Two—shoot the ball.
They ended up shooting so well, that they made history (third team to shoot 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from the three-point line, and 90 percent from the free throw line in a game). With 17 three-pointers, they tied the record for most by a road team in Finals history.
Toronto also became just the second team in 20 years to see all five starters score 15+ points in a single game.
“I give our guys a lot of credit. I thought we answered a lot of runs,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said after the game, via ESPN. “Each time they chipped, we kind of answered back. And that’s kind of what you got to do if you’re going to keep your lead.”
Of course, the hard part comes next—not having a let-down in Game Four. They have to expect to see Klay Thompson return to action and should be ready to see Kevin Durant as well. But if they can manage to steal another win in Oakland, it may not matter who the Warriors start.
Golden State Warriors
There is one thing that eventually takes down the best team in any sport—injuries. The Warriors were managing without Kevin Durant, but with Klay Thompson out for Game Three as well, Golden State probably should have been the underdog in the game.
Steph Curry is a tremendous player and had a fantastic performance in Game Three, but even the best players need help from the rest of the team to win a game. Wednesday night he didn’t get much from anyone.
But there is hope on the horizon for the Warriors. Klay Thompson is expected to play in Game Four Friday night. There is also a chance that Kevin Durant could play as well.
“The whole point [of resting Thompson for Game 3] was to not risk a bigger injury that would keep him out of the rest of the series,” Kerr said after Game Three.
Durant is expected to play some 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 Thursday to see if he can get cleared to play in Game Four. Even if he does get cleared, stepping into the situation he will be in after a month off is not going to be easy.
Toronto Raptors @ Golden State Warriors Head-to-Head
The Warriors and Raptors played twice during the regular season and saw the Raptors record the win both times. From a historical perspective, the two have not played often; just a total of 45 games. Golden State holds the all-time series lead with 28 wins to 17 for Toronto. They had never met in the playoffs prior to the NBA Finals.
Toronto leads the current series, 2-1.
Odds and Predictions
Any action on this game will depend on whether Kevin Durant is cleared to play or not. Fans should expect to see Thompson back on the court. His inclusion alone will make Game Four a much more competitive contest than Game Three was. Not only will the Warriors shoot more, but Thompson will provide a nice defensive presence as well.
While it was nice for Toronto fans to see their team shoot the ball so well in Game Three, they shouldn’t expect a similar performance in Game Four. Golden State is bound to do a few things differently, and the Raptors haven’t had the most reliable offense.
If the Warriors only have Thompson back, go ahead and take Toronto to win (+199), straight up and against the spread (+5.5). But if Durant plays as well, take the Warriors to win (-229) straight up, but stick with Toronto against the spread.
As for the over/under (216), don’t count on Toronto to shoot so well again. Take the under.
Expert Betting Tip
With all the uncertainty surrounding the Warriors lineup, it is impossible to be too confident about any wagers in this game. But with how the Raptors have been playing, they will likely cover the spread whether Durant plays or not.