Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 114-110 Game 6 loss to Raptors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 114-110 Game 6 loss to Raptors


OAKLAND -- Oracle Arena's grand finale was supposed to end on a high note. 

The Toronto Raptors made sure that wasn't the case, beating the Golden State Warriors 114-110 in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, securing the first championship north of the border in NBA History. 

Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam combined for 74 points as the Raptors celebrated on the Warriors floor for the final basketball game ever at Oracle Arena. 

In the process, Toronto overcame a battered Warriors team missing Kevin Durant, sending the former champs into what promises to be an entertaining offseason. 

Here are the takeaways from Game 6. 

Toronto's Big 3 arrives 

Kyle Lowry's postseason performance has been much maligned throughout his career. On Thursday, he reversed that narrative, finishing with 26 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists. 

Lowry had help, as Kawhi Leonard poured in 22 points of his own, adding six rebounds and three assists. Meanwhile, Pascal Siakam replicated his Game 1 performance, finishing with 26 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. 

For much of the series, the Raptors have relied heavily on their starting lineup, putting immense pressure on Siakam, Lowry and Leonard. With a championship on the line, the trio came through.

Klay Day

Klay Thompson's past performances in Game 6's are well documented and the sharpshooter added to that lore Thursday, scoring 30 points, including four 3-pointers. 

Thompson got going early, scoring 18 points in the first half, keeping Golden State in a game they were severely outmanned. 
Thursday's performance ended prematurely when Thompson went down with a left knee injury. After getting carried off the court, he returned to the game minutes later to shoot free throws, keeping his eligibility intact. However, he was ruled out for the remainder of the game and left the arena on crutches. 

Draymond does it all

Long considered the "heartbeat" of the Warriors, Green usually provides a gauge on how Golden State will perform on a nightly basis. In Game 6, he did just that, finishing with 11 points, 19 rebounds and 13 assists, but nine turnovers, including a timeout called in the final seconds when the Warriors had none, sealing the outcome.

After a rough regular season, Green returned to his all-star form in the postseason, averaging nearly a triple-double. 

In Game 6, he guarded Leonard, initiated the offense and provided Golden State's edge for most of the night.

How Warriors are affected by EuroLeague canceling rest of 2019-20 season

How Warriors are affected by EuroLeague canceling rest of 2019-20 season

While the NBA is inching closer to resuming the 2019-20 season, Europe's top basketball league decided not to pursue the same avenue.

The EuroLeague announced Monday that it was canceling the remainder of its 2019-20 season.

Each EuroLeague team had played 28 of their 34 regular-season games.

Ordinarily, the EuroLeague ending its season wouldn't be news for the Warriors and their fans. But 2020 has been a completely different year for the Warriors. Mired in a 15-50 season, Golden State will have a top-five pick in this year's NBA draft.

That means 19-year-old Israeli prospect Deni Avdija, who plays for Maccabi Tel-Aviv, is on the Warriors' radar. NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole reported at the end of April that the Warriors have traveled to Europe to take a look at Avdija, who could be a top-five draft pick.

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With the Warriors missing the playoffs this season, the team was going to use the unexpected free time in May to go scout prospects in Europe. Coach Steve Kerr reportedly was supposed to go watch Killian Hayes and Théo Maledon, while Kent Lacob, director of team development, was going to scout Avdija. But the coronavirus pandemic forced the Warriors to cancel those travel plans.

Due to travel restrictions, the Warriors likely wouldn't have been able to send anyone to watch Avdija play in the final six EuroLeague games had they been held, but they could have at least gotten more film on him. Now, they will have to form their opinion of Avdija with the in-person scouting they've already done and the film they have on hand.

In 21 games this season against Israel Basketball Super League competition, Avdija averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 26.6 minutes.

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Avdija hasn't seen as much playing time in the EuroLeague, so his numbers aren't great. In 26 games against better competition, he's averaging 4.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 14.2 minutes.

We don't know when the NBA will hold the 2020 draft, but if the Warriors select Avdija, we'll know they saw enough of him before the coronavirus put a stop to basketball around the world.

Michael Jordan-Steph Curry 'The Match' pairing posed by Colin Cowherd

Michael Jordan-Steph Curry 'The Match' pairing posed by Colin Cowherd

Sunday’s “The Match,” featuring a showdown between NFL stars Peyton Manning and Tom Brady along with PGA icons Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods was a smashing success. The event raised $20 million for coronavirus relief in the United States, and was the highest-rated golf event in cable television history.

The access and humorous trash talk throughout has led many to speculate as to which duo from sports could be part of the next iteration of the event. Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd discussed this on Monday and posed some interesting potential pairings.

"Michael has always let it be known that he's pretty good at golf," Cowherd said. "Steph is easily the best current NBA golfer, that I would pay to see."

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Steph Curry tweeted Sunday that he’d like to be included next time around, and sure enough Cowherd first mentioned a duel between the Warriors star and another NBA icon with North Carolina roots in Michael Jordan. MJ was shown to play golf frequently throughout his NBA career during ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” and continues to be a fan of the sport.

Curry is an avid golf fan and was glued to his television Sunday during “The Match.” He’s played in some professional golf events in the past, and always is among the best current athletes at the celebrity-laden American Century Championship each summer in Lake Tahoe.

Given MJ’s propensity to trash talk during his historic NBA career, it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t be trading barbs constantly with Curry. Steph’s confidence never has been in question and he likely would have plenty of fun going back and forth with Jordan.

[RELATED: Who Warriors fans think Steph Curry should team up with in 'The Match']

Throwing a couple PGA pros in, especially two who are avid NBA fans could make for some great conversation. As we saw throughout Sunday’s foursome, Mickelson and Woods were more than willing to engage and dish out some one-liners.

MJ likely wouldn’t be thrilled about being mic’d up for an entire round with no editorial control. But if both parties would be willing, this would be the most highly-anticipated event in the history of golf.

Plus we finally could settle that pesky debate of which team was more dominant between Curry’s 2016-17 Warriors and Jordan’s 1995-96 Bulls.