Finals Baby!

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Raptors Come Back from Down 15, Clinch Finals Berth with 100-94 Win

It’s been a long journey.

Countless losing seasons, Vince Carter missing the big shot in Game 7, Chris Bosh opting to leave the franchise in free agency, more years of mediocrity, LeBron James taking down the Raptors year after year. It’s all led to this one very special moment.

The Toronto Raptors are going to the NBA Finals.

“Beating this (Bucks) team four times in a row is almost mind boggling,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said following the 100-94 victory.

A team that has continued to grind, a team that would not quit – that would not fold – has cemented itself as the new king of the Eastern Conference. From falling down 2-0, to pulling out a gruelling double-overtime victory to coming back in back-to-back games when down double-digits, the perseverance of the Toronto Raptors has been nothing short of remarkable. The mission is not yet complete, but the final goal is within reach and it is important to celebrate the memorable moments along the way.

Trailing for most of the games, the Toronto Raptors were down 15 with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

This was the series.

If the Raptors weren’t able to take this one, the series would shift back to Milwaukee, where the Bucks would re-assume the role of heavy favourites. The Raptors had one more magical run in them. Powered by Kawhi Leonard and the second unit, the Raptors went on a 22-3 run, taking the lead and one they would not relinquish, despite every desperate attempt made by their opponents.

“We all felt like we were still in the game,” Leonard said, who finished the night with 27 points and 17 rebounds. “We had a little bit of momentum left. We just talked amongst each other once again and said ‘Let’s go out here and enjoy it, and we can play better offence and defence. We ended up doing that, and we ended up winning the game.”

The trio of VanVleet, Norman Powell, and Serge Ibaka was incredible yet again. After a shaky first quarter, the defense returned with a vengeance and at the end of the night it was a combined team effort that pulled out a gutsy Game 6 victory, completing the 4-2 series win.

In front of a jam-packed Scotiabank Arena and an electric surrounding known as Jurassic Park, the Toronto Raptors have accomplished the unthinkable and at the thick of things was the franchise’s lone holdover from the Brian Colangelo era – Kyle Lowry. Finishing the night with 17 points (on 6-of-10 shooting) and eight assists, Lowry was nothing short of spectacular, putting his body on the line for every loose ball and doing everything in his power to push the Raptors to victory. This was his moment and at long last, after seven long years in Toronto, Lowry is heading to his first NBA Finals.

“We’ve got great fans,” Lowry exclaimed as the Scotiabank Arena cheered him on. “They support us through the good times and the bad times. Right now is a great time, and we’re glad that they’re our fans.”

Additionally, a series-capping article cannot be complete without mentioning head coach Nurse, who has consistently received backlash from many fans and media members alike in these playoffs, but has continued to trust his team, make the correct adjustments, and coach to the best of his ability. The confidence that he oozes in his team translates to how his team’s confidence never wavers on the court. In the Eastern Conference Finals, Nick Nurse pulled all the right strings in the eyes of adversity, putting his players in the best position to secure this series victory.

As the Raptors celebrate a triumphant occasion in team history, this veteran group realizes that there is more work to be done. A final test stands in their way and that test is the Golden State Warriors, a team vying for a shot at three-peating. The Raptors have one more giant to slay.

It’s been a long, roller coaster of a journey, but that is what makes this moment so sweet and wonderful.

COMMENTS

Anne at 30 May 2019

This is rare and the best chance for the raptors to win nba finals in their whole team history. No one knows when it will come again. They should do their best so that whatever happen, they don't regret it. Playing in the finals is very hard to come-by so they should do their best, avoid making too much mistakes, play defense 48 minutes, and execute the play carefully.

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