Siakam scores 32 to lead Raptors past Warriors in opening game of NBA Finals

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on May 31, 2019 - Duration: 01:36s

Siakam scores 32 to lead Raptors past Warriors in opening game of NBA Finals

Pascal Siakam scores 32 to lead the Toronto Raptors to 118-109 win over the Golden State Warriors in opening game of the NBA Finals

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Siakam scores 32 to lead Raptors past Warriors in opening game of NBA Finals

SHOWS: TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA (NBA TV - BROADCASTERS AND DIGITAL: MUST COURTESY 'NBA TV') 1.

INTERIOR SCOTIABANK ARENA - RAPTORS PASCAL SIAKAM WALKING INTO POSTGAME NEWS CONFERENCE 2.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) RAPTORS PLAYER PASCAL SIAKAM SAYING: "I think it's amazing, it just shows the growth of the continent, Cameroon, and just basketball in Africa in general, and kind of being at this stage and representing the continent is amazing, I feel blessed, and I just want the game to continue to grow in Africa and for kids to see this and, you know, hopefully it inspires them." 3.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) RAPTORS PLAYER PASCAL SIAKAM ON WHY HE HAD SUCH A GOOD GAME, SAYING: "I think, you know obviously getting some easy buckets in transition, something I haven't really been able to do all playoffs and I think just being able to run and getting easy baskets at the rim and then from there just playing, just playing whatever the defense gives me, that's what I always say, kind of play off of that and whatever's open just taking them with confidence and, you know, believing in myself." 4.

WARRIORS PLAYER KLAY THOMPSON AT POSTGAME NEWS CONFERENCE 5.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) WARRIORS PLAYER KLAY THOMPSON SAYING: "But yeah we're not very familiar with this team but that's no excuse, you know it's still a, still gotta come out here and our goal was to get one (win) and that's still on the table for us so I know we'll respond like the champions we are." 6.

WARRIORS HEAD COACH STEVE KERR AT POSTGAME NEWS CONFERENCE 7.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) WARRIORS HEAD COACH STEVE KERR SAYING: "But again, give credit to Toronto, they played a great game, they made a lot of shots, difficult shots, and our transition defense and turnovers, that stuff it's really hard to overcome, especially on the road, so we gotta get better with that.

Thanks everybody." STORY: The Toronto Raptors, with the support of an entire nation behind them, won the first NBA Finals game played outside the United States with a thrilling 118-109 victory over the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors on Thursday (May 30).

Toronto were led by Cameroonian forward Pascal Siakam, who scored a playoff career-high 32 points while Golden State's sharp-shooting duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson failed to find their usual groove in opening game of the series.

Toronto led by 10 points at the half and Siakam, who two years ago was playing in the NBA's development league, did his part to prevent the Warriors from closing the gap as he went a perfect 6-for-6 shooting in the third quarter.

Toronto led nearly the entire way and built a 12-point lead, their largest of the game, when Danny Green drained a three-pointer from the corner that whipped the crowd into a frenzy with seven-and-a-half minutes to play.

The Warriors, who are trying to become the first NBA team to win three consecutive titles since the Los Angeles Lakers did it in 2002, got to within eight points but the Raptors held firm and padded their lead in the closing minutes.

The Warriors are not too familiar with the Raptors and were largely undone by 16 turnovers and a weak transition defense that surrendered 24 fast-break points.

Toronto, came out firing in their Finals debut and were not intimidated by a talent-laden Warriors team who are playing in the NBA's championship series for a fifth consecutive season.

Playing in front of a raucous crowd that included two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, the Raptors used a bevy of early three-pointers to take control and while the Warriors did well to keep it close Toronto closed the half on a wild 19-8 run.

Game Two of the best-of-seven championship series in on Sunday in Toronto.

(Production: David Grip)

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