The Raptors managed to win on the road to and capture their first NBA championship, made even more impressive by winning against the juggernaut Warriors at the Oracle. Injuries were prevalent for the Warriors, but it is hard to discount what the expansion team was able to do. The final moments featured Kawhi Leonard sealing the game for Toronto with a technical foul and pair of free throws to put the game officially to bed with a 110-114 victory.
Drama has been the theme of the entire series, with Toronto Raptors coming into the NBA Finals as serious underdogs against the juggernaut Golden State Warriors. But with Game Five on Monday, The North had made their mark and walked onto their home court with a 3-1 lead over Steph Curry and the Warriors.
After the Raptors' Game 2 loss, Nick Nurse set a goal to just win one in Oakland
Kawhi had other ideas 👀 pic.twitter.com/A9ti4Jnp79— CBC Sports (@cbcsports) June 11, 2019
From there, both teams knew it would be a dog fight until the end, with the Raptors hungry for their first title and the Warriors looking for the threepeat.
Raptor fans were elated at the victory and continued to show the spirit that carried them throughout the playoffs.
Congrats to Drake and the Raptors on winning the 2019 NBA Title 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/GZcvdnosyr— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 14, 2019
THE RAPTORS WIN THE NBA FINALS WOWWWWWWWWWW— Sean Ross Sapp of Raptors Fandom And Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) June 14, 2019
Raptors are champions 🏆 pic.twitter.com/FCT3klV92w— Jayden Penney (@jayden13033812) June 14, 2019
The Raptors, led by Kawhi Leonard after a landmark trade out of San Antonio, were hot contenders all season but faced overwhelming odds heading into the Finals. After putting away the Milwaukee Bucks, many thought that Toronto would offer an easy path for Golden State. But that didn't turn out to be the case and the team that first entered the league back in 1995 as an expansion into Canada found glory to take a win in Game One and two consecutive wins in Golden State in Games Three and Four.
Backs against the wall.
Splash Brothers deliver 💦 pic.twitter.com/IpYp1OMQK0— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 11, 2019
Heading into Game Five we had plenty of storylines to keep us busy, but the biggest might've been the return of the injured Kevin Durant. It was a short-lived return for the all-star as he fell into injury once again, leaving the court before the end of the first half. Still, the Warriors managed to hold off the Raptors to force a Game Six thanks to a tense conclusion and a 106-105 score.
Both teams put on a showcase that defines just how good the NBA has become in the modern era. Many began the playoffs decrying the lack of LeBron James, but teams like the Portland Trailblazers, the Bucks and the Raptors all provided stunning play that left thoughts who was absent on the bench.
Now the Association will look towards the upcoming NBA Draft on June 20, a loaded free agent market opening up on June 30, and the start of another season in the fall. There is also the fate of New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, who is set for a potential trade to any team that can sweeten the pot the most.