Raptors win first NBA championship
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 6/14/19, 10:30 am
The Toronto Raptors won their first NBA title Thursday night in Oakland, Calif., defeating the Golden State Warriors 114-110 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, sweeping all three of their games on the road.
Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard averaged more than 28 points a game in the series and was named the Finals MVP for the second time in his career. “I wanted to make history here,” he said. “That’s what I did.” Leonard won his first MVP award playing for the San Antonio Spurs when they won the championship in 2014.
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet came off the bench to score 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to boost Toronto into the lead late in the game. The Warriors had a chance to send the series to a Game 7 in Toronto, but two-time league MVP Stephen Curry missed a 3-point attempt with eight seconds remaining.
The Warriors were aiming for their third championship in a row, and fourth in five years. Thursday’s game was their last at Oracle Arena, their longtime home in Oakland. The team moves to the brand-new Chase Center in neighboring San Francisco next season.
The Raptors are the first Canadian professional sports franchise to win a major sports league title since the Toronto Blue Jays won major league baseball’s World Series in 1993.
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Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.