Raptors make NBA history by defeating Warriors to win Finals

WATCH ABOVE: Fans in cities across Canada celebrated after the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors on Thursday to clinch their first NBA title.

The Toronto Raptors have made NBA history by winning Game 6 of the Finals Thursday night, marking the first time a Canadian team has won the championship.

The Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors 114-110 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.

“Canada, we brought it home, baby. Canada, we brought it home,” Kyle Lowry emphatically said after the team was presented with the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy.


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Kawhi Leonard, who scored 22 points in Game 6, was named Finals MVP. This is the second time he received that honour — the first was when he was with the San Antonio Spurs.

There were unconfirmed reports a parade will be held in downtown Toronto on Monday. An announcement was scheduled to be made on Friday.

Thursday’s win caps a stunning playoff run for the Raptors. Toronto defeated the Orlando Magic, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks to face off in the Finals against the two-time defending champions.

Since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, Raptors President Masai Ujiri set the lofty goal of securing the top NBA title. The team acquired Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs along with Danny Green in exchange for DeMar DeRozan. Marc Gasol was later added to the roster at the trade deadline in February.


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Klay Thompson leaves Game 6 with apparent knee injury

“We all know where my (preferred) destinations were (last summer),” Leonard said when asked to reflect on his trade to Toronto.

“But obviously like I said, when I was there on my opening-day meeting that I was focused on the now, and I wanted to make history here and that’s all I did. I’m still playing basketball no matter what jersey I have on.”

Toronto had a strong first quarter Thursday night and at one point led it by nine points. Kyle Lowry sunk four three-pointers and Pascal Siakam another two. Despite rotating leads in the second quarter, the Raptors went into the half ahead 60-57.

As the Warriors took a lead in the third quarter, Klay Thompson — who scored 30 points — suffered an apparent knee injury. He was briefly assessed by doctors before returning to the court to shoot two free throws on a foul, but left right after for further assessment. Toronto and Golden State were neck and neck in the remaining quarter, but the Raptors came out on top.

In the end, the Raptors showed a stronger offensive effort in Game 6. Toronto scored 13 three-pointers — three more than scored throughout Game 5. Golden State scored 11.

Lowry ended up scoring 26 points while Siakam got 26 points. Fred VanVleet scored 22 points.

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Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry followed Thompson in scoring for the Warriors, getting 22 and 21 points respectively.

Nick Nurse, who was appointed head coach of the Raptors at the beginning of the 2018-19 after Dwane Casey was fired, reflected on all the changes the team faced over the past season.

“It was a heck of a 12 months … I just try to take things as they come,” he told reporters Thursday night.


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“It was a great group. They really played together. I thought they really fought hard. They were tough-minded … Two months of playoff basketball, they never seemed tired to me mentally. They kept wanting the film sessions, they kept wanting to walk through things, they kept wanting to keep learning and improving.”

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr congratulated the Raptors on their win Thursday night.

“They’re a fantastic basketball team — great defensively, they share the ball, play a beautiful style, a lot of great two-way players,” he said.

“Winning a championship is an ultimate in this league and they’ve got a lot of guys who’ve earned this. So congrats to Toronto, to their organization, to their fans — they are a worthy champion.”

Thursday’s matchup at Oracle Arena marked the last game to be held at the facility. Golden State will be moving to the new Chase Center in San Francisco as of the 2019-20 NBA season.

Back in Toronto, thousands of fans who attended Jurassic Park and surrounding streets outside the arena took over the streets in celebration of the Raptors. People could be seen on vehicles and climbing signs.

Other cities in Ontario, such as Mississauga, Barrie, Kitchener, Burlington, and in Canada held viewing parties on Thursday and throughout the NBA Finals.

— With files from The Canadian Press

Raptors fans attend Jurassic Park outside of Scotiabank Arena for Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Raptors fans attend Jurassic Park outside of Scotiabank Arena for Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

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Raptors fans celebrate in Toronto after the team won the NBA Finals.

Raptors fans celebrate in Toronto after the team won the NBA Finals.

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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (L) celebrates with teammate Kyle Lowry (2-L) at the conclusion of the NBA Finals Championships game six between the Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (L) celebrates with teammate Kyle Lowry (2-L) at the conclusion of the NBA Finals Championships game six between the Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (2-L) shoots as time expires as Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (R) and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (L) of Cameroon celebrate their win at the conclusion of the NBA Finals Championships game six against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (2-L) shoots as time expires as Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (R) and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (L) of Cameroon celebrate their win at the conclusion of the NBA Finals Championships game six against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (C) holds up the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy after beating the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals game six at Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California.

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (C) holds up the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy after beating the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals game six at Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California.

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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (C-L, bottom row) holds the MVP trophy while posing with the team and Serge Ibaka (C-R, bottom row) of the Republic of the Congo as he holds the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy at the conclusion of the NBA Finals.

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (C-L, bottom row) holds the MVP trophy while posing with the team and Serge Ibaka (C-R, bottom row) of the Republic of the Congo as he holds the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy at the conclusion of the NBA Finals.

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Raptors fans celebrate in Toronto after the team won the NBA Finals.

Raptors fans celebrate in Toronto after the team won the NBA Finals.

EPA/ANDREJ IVANOV
Raptors fans celebrate in Toronto after the team won the NBA Finals.

Raptors fans celebrate in Toronto after the team won the NBA Finals.

EPA/ANDREJ IVANOV
Raptors fans celebrate in Toronto after the team won the NBA Finals.

Raptors fans celebrate in Toronto after the team won the NBA Finals.

EPA/ANDREJ IVANOV
Raptors fans celebrate on top of a TTC special events bus and on Yonge Street after the team won the NBA Finals.

Raptors fans celebrate on top of a TTC special events bus and on Yonge Street after the team won the NBA Finals.

John Hanley / Global News
Raptors fans celebrate on top of a TTC special events bus after the team won the NBA Finals.

Raptors fans celebrate on top of a TTC special events bus after the team won the NBA Finals.

John Hanley / Global News
Thousands of Raptors fans gathered near Yonge-Dundas Square after the team won the NBA Finals.

Thousands of Raptors fans gathered near Yonge-Dundas Square after the team won the NBA Finals.

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Thousands of Raptors fans gathered near Yonge-Dundas Square after the team won the NBA Finals.

Thousands of Raptors fans gathered near Yonge-Dundas Square after the team won the NBA Finals.

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Raptors fans celebrate at Nathan Phillips Square after the team won the NBA Finals.

Raptors fans celebrate at Nathan Phillips Square after the team won the NBA Finals.

Katherine Aylesworth / Global News
The CN Tower was lit up in Raptors red along with the team slogan "We The North."

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An office tower was lit up with a heart and the Raptors team slogan "We The North" after the team won the NBA Finals.

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