ANALYSIS NBA

NBA Finals Game 2 Recap: Warriors third quarter run helps Golden State even series

The Golden State Warriors even the series with epic third quarter run against the Raptors.

After letting the series opener slip right through their fingers, the Golden State Warriors bounced back in dramatic fashion taking a 109-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors, Sunday night, in the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto Canada. With the Game 2 win, the Warriors tied series against the Raptors (1-1), as the NBA Finals shifts to the Bay area for Games 3 and 4. The Warriors Game 2 victory was a pure example of their slogan “Strength In Numbers.”

For most of the game, Golden State looked like an injured and depleted roster trying to keep their championship aspirations alive. The Raptors took a 12 point lead midway through the second quarter, as the Warriors struggled to buy a basket during the first half.

Most of the Warriors first half struggles were due to an ailing Stephen Curry, who began the game missing his first six shots Sunday night. However, late in the second quarter, Curry would find his shot, and along with Klay Thompson who kept Golden State aloft with 17 points, the Warriors trailed by five as they entered the halftime break.

Despite their first-half struggles, the Warriors opened the third quarter on an 18-0 run, transforming a 59-54 halftime deficit into a commanding 72-59 lead.

While Curry and Thompson continued their first-half tear, the Warriors second-half turnaround was in large part from the play of their role players. Andrew Bogut, Quinn Cook, and Shaun Livingston came up huge off the bench, scoring a combined 21 points in the second half. While Golden State’s bench came up huge in the second half, no one played a bigger role for the Warriors than big man, DeMarcus Cousins.

Still recovering from an early postseason injury, Cousins had one of the most impactful games of his career. As a starter, Cousins logged in 29 minutes and recorded 11 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists in the win. Cousins also came up huge on the defensive end with two blocks and several key stops in the second half.

Despite their second-half explosion, the Warriors run took a hit as Thompson left the game midway through the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return. As the Raptors tried to make a late 10-0 run late in the game, as Andre Iguodala scored the game-winning basket with less than five seconds remaining in the fourth.

After a subpar performance in Game 1, Kawhi Leonard had a great turnaround of 34 points and 14 rebounds in 39 minutes. Curry ended the game with 23 points on 6-for-17 shooting from the field. Draymond Green is one assist shy from averaging a triple-double in the Finals, recording 17 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists in the win.

Despite the win, the Warriors are returning to Oracle Arena with more questions than answers heading into Game 3. Thompson and Kevon Looney are questionable after suffering injuries in Game 2, there is still no word on the return of Kevin Durant.

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