OAKLAND, Calif. - Despite a slow start Friday night, the Toronto Raptors kept Golden State in reach and eventually pulled away in the second half for a 105-92 win and a commanding 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
Yahoo Sports reported that early in Game 4, the Golden State Warriors looked well on their way to re-establishing balance in the NBA Finals.
Golden State returned Friday with Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney in the lineup after their injury-riddled loss in Game 3 at home. Just about all the Raptors struggled early on except for Kawhi Leonard. It appeared that the Warriors were on their way to squaring the best-of-seven series.
But Leonard wouldn't let Golden State pull away. The Warriors took a 23-17 lead in the first quarter as Toronto struggled from the field, missing the jump shots that came easily in Game 3. Leonard scored 14 of those 17 points as his teammates shot 1 of 13 from the field.
And, the Raptors hung close in the second quarter as Golden State failed to create distance with one of its signature runs and went into halftime holding a 46-42 lead.
Leonard opened the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers, and Toronto seized control of the game with a 37-21 edge in the quarter that Leonard scored 17 points to take a 79-67 lead into the fourth.
The Warriors did try to rally, but the Raptors kept their cool and maintained control until the final buzzer.
Leonard finished with 36 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and four steals in another vintage performance that's become routine this postseason.
"I don't play hero basketball," Leonard told ESPN after the game. "I'm not playing for fans, you know. I'm just playing to win. I'm not out here trying to break records, whatever's on the scoreboard. I'm just out here trying to help my team win."
For the back-to-back champion Warriors and their fans, it was a stunning second-straight loss at home in the NBA Finals, Yahoo Sports reported.
For the Raptors, it means they're one win away from an NBA championship with Game 5 Monday at home.
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