The Toronto Raptors clinched their first ever NBA Championship on Thursday night as they defeated the Golden State Warriors 114-110 to win the best of seven series by four games to two.
The Raptors, in their first ever NBA Finals appearances, were the underdogs up against a dynastic Warriors side who were looking for their third straight title in their fifth finals appearances in a row.
The defending champions, however, were missing one their key offensive pieces in Kevin Durant, who had gone down earlier in the playoffs with a calf injury, which led to the Canadian side, manned by the in-form Kawhi Leonard to a 3-1 series lead.
In Toronto, in Game 5 the Warriors managed to pull one back however the returning Durant suffered a devastating achilles injury early in the game which put a dampener on proceedings.
Back in the Bay Area, the Warriors fought with the talents of Steph Curry, but again suffered a huge injury blow as they lost shooting guard and perennial All-Star Klay Thompson late in the third quarter.
Thompson, who had already put up 28 points in the game, went down on a lay-up, falling awkwardly, holding his knee as fans at the Oracle Arena collectively held their breaths.
The 29-year old was carried off the court as it appeared as though his evening was finished but just as he reached the locker room Thompson turned around and elected to limp back and take the free-throws he had been awarded on the foul.
After tearing his ACL, Klay Thompson came back onto the court to hit two free throws 😳 pic.twitter.com/dyUEcpFm4R
— ESPN (@espn) June 14, 2019
As he walked out the arena erupted and Thompson drained the two shots from the line to finish on 30 points. He wanted to continue despite the injury, which was later reported to be a torn ACL, however the Warriors coaching staff decided to pull him from the game.
Thompson showed immense heart for his team but the Raptors proved to be too strong over the course of the six games in the Finals, with the loss of Kevin Durant a massive blow on top of Thompson’s injury going into the off season.