Raptors vs. Warriors Game 4 Prediction: Golden State Ties Up 2019 NBA Finals With Klay Thompson Back
If the Golden State Warriors were to trot out the same starting lineup in Game 4 that they did two nights earlier, they would be in big, big trouble.
Without Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney, the defending champs were routed 123-109 on their home floor in Game 3, looking completely outmatched by the Toronto Raptors. Stephen Curry had an efficient 47 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and it still wasn’t nearly enough for Golden State to avoid falling into a 2-1 series hole.
Durant has already been ruled out for Friday night’s pivotal Game 4 at Oracle Arena. Looney isn’t expected to play, either. Thompson, on the other hand, will return after missing one game with a hamstring injury.
Golden State split two games in Toronto when Thompson was healthy. He was the Warriors’ leading scorer in Game 2 when he dropped 25 points on 10-17 shooting. His defense was also essential in limiting the Raptors, who were outscored 18-0 to start the third quarter of Golden State’s lone win in the series.
Will Thompson be close to 100 percent? That remains to be seen, though the team’s cautious approach with Durant might indicate that the shooting guard should be close to his usual self.
With Thompson in the lineup, it’s fair to say Game 3 will prove to be an anomaly. The Warriors have been at their best this season when their backs have been up against the wall. Golden State faces the closest thing to a “must-win” situation all year when they host Toronto in Game 4.
The non-Curry Warriors shot 22-60 for 62 points Wednesday. Those numbers will improve with Thompson back in the fold. DeMarcus Cousins and Draymond Green were a combined seven-of-21, and they could certainly have bounce-back performances in front of a raucous home crowd.
By the same token, the Raptors won’t shoot as well as they did two nights prior.
"I just can't wait to get out here tomorrow."
Klay Thompson says he's ready to play in Game 4 of the #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/B20IjI0ewW
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 6, 2019
Maybe Kawhi Leonard will score 30 points on just 17 field-goal attempts again. But the rest of Toronto’s starters all scoring at least 17 points on 50 percent shooting or better? Don’t count on it.
The Raptors became just the third team to shoot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line in a finals game. Toronto won’t have another night like that for the rest of the series. Thompson’s presence in the lineup will also mean fewer clean looks for the Raptors.
Pascal Siakam has been hot and cold this postseason. Sandwiched in between his two terrific games against the Warriors is a 12-point, 18-shot performance. He could be in for an off night Friday.
The same goes for Kyle Lowry and Danny Green, who made 11 of their 19 three-point attempts in the Game 3 win.
Even without Durant, Golden State will have four key members of their dynasty on the floor. The back-to-back champs aren’t going down quietly.
Game 4 Prediction: Golden State over Toronto, 112-100