OAKLAND, California – When the Gold States Warriors laid a 18-0 Toronto Raptors strip in the NBA Finals in the second round of the NBA Finals, their leader Stephen Karie declared it one of the moments when "our DNA appears". "
It's a frightening thing, that champion DNA. If you are not careful, you can choke under the weight of the possibility of that domination. Many opponents of the playoffs are franchise victims loaded with stars who, when rolling, seem invincible.
However, one thing was usually clear on Wednesday at Oracle Arena: Toronto did not intend to smoother under the pressure of the champion pedigree of its insidious rival. When the warriors were charged, Raptors moved away from running with the clutch recording. During distances when the attackers twisted, they set up with defenses.
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In fact, on the eve of their 123-109 play 3 win in one of the most terrible buildings in the NBA, Raptors may be in the process of making some promising genetic coding on their own.
"That's right," said Serge Ibaka, who blocked six shots in the match and broke the monster 10 minutes to play. "We work on our own DNA, and it's defense. There are several nights when you make all your shots, but it will not happen every night." One thing that we can do is defend ourselves. "
No one had to explain to Raptors what was at stake. Kevin Loney is out of the rest of the series. Clay Thompson was very late zero because of a Balkan swamp. Kevin Durant missed the eighth consecutive game due to a tightened calf. For Toronto, there was no other option than winning. Lose the game, and it will be the death penalty for a team that is on this great stage for the first time and must use.
The Raptors had to grab this one and take a 2-1 series lead, especially with Durant lurking in the shadows, a plot to get him back. In preparation, someone wrote a simple message to the white board of Toronto shortly before turning it off: "Let him break up."
"It was the plan," said veteran Kyle Laurie, who hit some of the biggest recordings of his career along the length of this game. "Stay calm. Stay calm, do not let them influence what we do."
What Raptors did in the first minutes was the attack on the early-morning cousin DeMarkus Cousin, continually fed Mark Gasol to the position of being a reincarnation of Shakil O'Neal. Gasol took as many recordings (seven) in the first quarter on Wednesday as in the whole game. 2. Raptors also looked to release alive Pascal Siacam in and around the key where he is most effective. In the two-minute first quarter score, the visitors' lead was 10, and Thompson was tied to the bench, his warming strains were strained. He fell forward, his anger tasted.
"I would never have been forgiven if I played tonight and he was hurt," Golden State coaching chief Steve Kerr said.
"Everyone wants to lose," " Greenman said: "So, I'm sure people are happy [our guys] were injured. "
It was expected that Curry, the last supernova star, would be asked to put an uneven load on his slim frame, and he was more than a task. By the end of the third quarter, Kari appeared in 40 recording points from the 13th to the 26th. The only problem was the rest of the Warriors collectively shot 38% (16-to-42).
However, Curry finished excellent food from Andrew Bogut in the third quarter to reduce the deficit of his team to seven (66-59). Gold has been on the rise, in the middle of 7-0, but Toronto's transcendent star, Kavi Leonard, who delivered 30 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, calmed the trusted audience with a three-shooter to kill. Warriors cut him to seven, again at the corner of Andrew Iguodala 3, but there was Lowry, setting his long ball to bring him back to 10.
"These moments were so important," said Fred Van Vlae, who dealt with 11 key points and defended Kari's defense. "We are still creating our identity as a team, and every time we endure our back, we become a little stiffer, a little stronger."
If they were a different collection of players, warriors could be tempted to live a tie of danger in front of them. What if Thompson can not go into game 4? What if Durant stayed away? Do they have enough firepower to overcome the young and improve the opponent who has exhibited his own brand of stubborn elasticity?
Kari expressed confidence that his team would recover from this, but offered a warning, saying: "We can not fall into the trap of thinking just an offense can bring us another championship."
The green heap is guilty of herself to not help Karie more with the offensive load and has promised to take better care of the ball. As he left his locker, he headed for his home, was asked if he was a little nervous.
"Nervous?" Green answered. "This is what we are doing. That's what we have always done."
Raptors are not naïve. They know a high level, reinforcing the MVP-caliber can be on the check for a game 4. But they feel sure they are building something here. Kill the beast? Not yet, it's not difficult, but warriors are vulnerable, and Toronto intends to use its weaknesses.
"You see that our team builds strength, elasticity," Sikam said. "None of us was remarkable. We built our careers from the country. That's who we are."
Raptors is also a team that finished with all five starters in double figures on Wednesday. More importantly, they left the building with the belief that they had a defensive church to prevent a phenomenon that, when it's healthy, is positively daunting.
"That's true," Sikam said. "But honestly, we really are not afraid of anyone."