The Toronto Raptors beat defending champions the Golden State Warriors 114-110 to win their first NBA title. Kawhi Leonard was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, averaging 28.5 points, as the Raptors won the best-of-seven series 4-2.
“It was heck of a 12 months,” Toronto head coach Nick Nurse said after his side became the only Canadian franchise to win the NBA. “This is why I play basketball; this is what I work hard for,” added Leonard. The Warriors, who headed into the finals with back-to-back wins and had won three of the past four NBA titles, were without the injured Kevin Durant and lost Klay Thompson to cruciate knee ligament damage in the third quarter. Steph Curry had a chance to tie the series with a missed three-pointer when the Warriors trailed 111-110, before Leonard sealed the victory for the visitors. The Raptors are the first Canadian club side to win a major North American sports title since the Toronto Blue Jays captured Major League Baseball’s World Series in 1993. The NBA was expanded to Canada in 1995 when it incorporated the newly formed Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies – who later relocated and became the Memphis Grizzlies. Photo credit: Getty