Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry
(Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Toronto Raptors and Kawhi Leonard may have ended the Golden State Warriors dynasty after scratching and clawing to a Game 6 victory.

Danny Small

There should be no asterisk next to this championship. The Toronto Raptors are deserving champions after dethroning Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

Sure, Kevin Durant only played 11 minutes in the series and Klay Thompson, who missed Game 3, had to leave Game 6 during one of his all-time great performances. But at the end of the day, the Raptors, Kawhi Leonard, and Fred VanVleet are NBA champions. Curry had the opportunity to hit a shot to win it, but he flat out missed.


More on the now two-time Finals MVP Leonard later, but VanVleet was the second half hero for Toronto on Thursday. He came up with timely hoop after timely hoop. Not to mention, he was the primary defender on Stephen Curry. The Wichita State alum finished with 22 points on 5-for-11 from three and 12 of those points came in the fourth quarter.

While the undrafted point guard stepped into the limelight in Game 6, Kawhi Leonard was the star of the series. The superstar’s last two seasons have been an absolute roller coaster. He struggled with a devastating injury, forced his way out of San Antonio, and joined a team with a checkered playoff history.

Nonetheless, he was able to lift his team to a title over one of the greatest dynasties the NBA has ever seen. Leonard was also the man who ended LeBron James‘ run with the Miami Heat. The Finals MVP was the lone superstar on the Raptors, but his supporting cast came up when they were needed most.

Kyle Lowry silenced his critics with 26 points, seven rebounds, and 10 assists. He was on fire to start the game and set the tone for Toronto. Pascal Siakam was all over the court, scoring 26 points and snatching up 10 boards. His biggest contribution came in a 32-point performance in Game 1.

It’s impossible to process exactly what this championship means right now. But one thing is for sure, the Warriors were a worthy opponent despite all the injuries.



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