Check out all the drama from the 2019 NBA Finals
It was an instant classic and an exhilarating end to 47 seasons at Oracle Arena.
An emotional, exhausting Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors came down to the final second, with the home team scratching and clawing after losing Klay Thompson to a left knee injury that led to him leaving the arena for the final time on crutches — just three days after Golden State lost Kevin Durant for the series with a career-altering Achilles tear in their Game 5 victory in Toronto.
The Raptors held off the two-time defending champions to escape with a 114-110 victory, giving Toronto, and all of Canada, its first NBA championship.
Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam each scored 26 points, Kawhi Leonard scored 23 before being named Finals MVP and Fred VanVleet scored 15 of his 22 in the second half.
The Raptors, with a one-point lead and 18.5 seconds remaining, just had to run out the clock to seal their first title. But Danny Green throw an errant pass to Pascal Siakam down the sideline that went out of bounds, turning over the ball.
It left the Warriors with one final possession. Andre Iguodala nearly threw away a pass to Draymond Green, who found Stephen Curry for an open shot on the left wing. The shot was short, and the Warriors scrambled for the ball, with Green calling a timeout as he hit the deck near halfcourt.
But the Warriors didn’t have any timeouts remaining, giving Toronto a technical free throw. Leonard sank it with 0.9 seconds remaining, then made two more free throws to clinch the title.
Warriors fans, impressed by their team’s undermanned effort, stayed and gave the home team their signature “Warriors” chant even as the Raptors celebrated and a stage was being erected at halfcourt.
Thompson’s exit was one of the most dramatic moments of the night. He came down awkwardly after being fouled on a fast-break dunk attempt by Danny Green. Thompson grabbed his left knee and was helped to the locker room. He could barely put weight on his leg.
But he returned to the floor moments later, knowing he would have to be pulled from the game if he couldn’t shoot the free throws, re-igniting the Oracle crowd, and hit both to give him a game-high 30 points. The Warriors fouled right away to get Thompson off the floor, though he appeared to lobby to stay in the game. He went back to the locker room to receive treatment — and was ruled out with 8:53 remaining and the score tied at 91.
Draymond Green, who had another triple double with 11 points, 19 rebounds and 13 assists, hit a 3-pointer at the 2-minute mark to cut the deficit to 108-105, then DeMarcus Cousins hit a contested layup in the lane to make it 109-108 with 37.7 remaining. Curry, without his sharp-shooting co-stars on the perimeter, was constantly hounded by double and triple teams and finished with 21 points on 6-of-17 shooting.
Andre Iguodala brought the scoring punch that was needed with Durant out and Thompson absent for most of the second half. He scored 22.
Lowry had an enormous first half, scoring a game-high 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 4 of 5 3-pointers. The Raptors took a three-point lead into halftime while making half their 18 attempts from distance.
Thompson was having another big Game 6 performance, leading to the Oracle Crowd chanting “Game 6 Klay!” at various points in the first half wile scoring 18. Iguodala caught two lobs from Draymond Green and hit a 3-pointer to give Golden State 11 big points at the break.
Curry appeared to get banged up on a screen early in the second half and continued to shake out his leg to avoid it stiffening. He also hit a 3 from the right wing and began running back on defense before the ball splashed through.
Ultimately, it wasn’t enough, and it was the Raptors pulling off the victory in six games in the final NBA game played in Oakland.