The Golden State Warriors did not play perfect basketball in Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors Sunday night, but they came awfully close during the first 5:30 of the third period.
That's when the the two-time defending champions went on an 18-0 run that keyed their 109-104 triumph over the homestanding Raptors and tied the championship series at 1-1.
The Warriors trailed 59-54 at halftime and appeared to be on their way to falling into a 0-2 hole. However, they started the third quarter at full speed, and the Raptors were unable to come up with any answers.
After building a 72-59 lead, the Warriors did just enough down the stretch to hold on for the win. Andre Iguodala hit the decisive three-point shot with 5.9 seconds remaining, and that basket blunted a 10-0 Toronto run that gave the Warriors a 109-104 victory.
In addition to the winning points courtesy of Iguodala, Klay Thompson scored 25 points for the Warriors and Stephen Curry added 23 points.
Thompson was a key performer in the first half, and his effort kept the Raptors from building a more decisive lead. But he had to come out of the game in the fourth quarter after suffering what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
The victory demonstrated the Warriors' ability to find a way to come up with a road win when they needed it.
"It was a great win. We got to go home and protect our home floor and we'll see about all the injuries," head coach Steve Kerr said, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "But I'm very proud of our team and in particular all the guys off the bench."
Game 1: Raptors 118, Warriors 109
Game 2: Warriors 109, Raptors 104, Series tied, 1-1
Game 3: Toronto at Golden State, June 5, 9 p.m. ET
Game 4: Toronto at Golden State, June 7, 9 p.m. ET
Game 5: Golden State at Toronto, June 10, 9 p.m. ET
Game 6: Toronto at Golden State, June 13, 9 p.m. ET, if necessary
Game 7: Golden State at Toronto, June 16, 8 p.m. ET, if necessary
In addition to Thompson's injury, which occurred when he landed in an awkward manner after attempting a three-point shot, backup center Kevon Looney suffered a chest injury, and Iguodala returned after falling hard in the first half.
Those injuries may hinder the Warriors' hopes of a third consecutive title. They still don't have Kevin Durant back after suffering a calf injury in the second round against the Houston Rockets, and while there is talk he could be back in the series, there are no definitive plans for him to return for Game 3 Wednesday night.
Despite the numerous injuries, the Warriors are three-point favorites, per VegasInsider.com. The total in the game is listed at 227.
Thompson was seen limping after the game with ice on his hamstring. He told ESPN's Rachel Nichols he plans on playing in Game 3, and the injury is not as severe as the high ankle sprain he had in last year's championship series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He did not miss a game in that series.
The Raptors know they missed an opportunity to take a 2-0 lead in the series as a result of their play at the start of the third quarter.
"Third quarter we didn't play well enough. We missed too many shots," Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said, per Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press (h/t NBA.com). "They got out in transition and got a little confidence going. We lost the game there."
If Thompson is able to play in Game 3 and Durant comes back at some point before the final game is played, it may be turn out to be the point where the Raptors lost the series.
Thompson is a Warrior, both in terms of the team he plays for and the mindset he brings to his team on a nightly basis. If he has anything to say about it, he will play in Game 3 against the Raptors and will play effectively.
He has proved his mettle in championship situations time and time again, and there is no reason to think he will fall short here.
The same goes for Curry. He had reeled off six straight games with 30 points or more before Game 2, but the thought of him failing to reach that level at home is unlikely.
This is the last series the Warriors will play at Oracle Arena, as they will move to the Chase Center in San Francisco next season.
Every game in the NBA Finals at Oracle will be emotional, and the Warriors know how to win those games. Toronto had its opportunity to take control of the series, and they let Golden State wriggle free.
The Warriors will win and cover in Game 3.