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Wow, the Warriors won with just three All-NBA players plus a Finals MVP

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NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors, down 1-0 in the NBA Finals, suffered quite a few casualties in Game 2. Stephen Curry came in sick. Andre Iguodala left late in the second quarter. (He was fine -- real fine -- by the end of halftime.) Kevon Looney and Klay Thompson went out for good in the second half. Kevin Durant, of course, remains in street clothes. Despite all of this adversity, Golden State managed to pull out a 109-104 victory over the Raptors to even the series 1-1 heading to Oakland.

Jokes aside, this victory showed the Warriors’ resilience. We think of them as a certain type of team -- threes, pace, passing, and all that -- and they can certainly be that. Witness the 18-0 run the Warriors had in the third quarter to come back from a deficit and take a lead they wouldn’t give up. But Golden State is adaptable: Steve Kerr made some defensive switches in the second half to let Klay guard Kawhi Leonard (34 points, drew a ton of fouls) and use Draymond Green and Iguodala as helpers. Green put the locks on Pascal Siakam (12 points on 5-18 shooting), who had been the best player on the floor in Toronto’s Game 1 win. On offense, Curry and Thompson attacked the paint and succeeded as Toronto continued to try to run them off the arc. DeMarcus Cousins started, played 27 minutes, and was an awesome playmaker (6 assists).

It was Iguodala who hit the dagger, though. The Raptors were down two with about a two second differential on the shot clock and didn’t foul when Green or Shaun Livingston had the ball. They traded Curry and almost forced a turnover as he made a dangerous pass to Livingston that Leonard almost picked off with daylight in front of him. But Livingston came to the ball and touch-passed it to Iguodala, who Toronto left open, almost daring him to shoot. He did. He sunk it despite being one for his last 14 from three. That was the ballgame.

Game 3 is Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.

Literal Kawhi

One of the best subplots of the playoffs has been Kawhi Leonard showing his sense of humor via extremely earnest answers in media interviews. At least, we think he’s showing his sense of humor. It could just be some wonky AI, who knows?

Anyway, Literal Kawhi struck again in the postgame. When asked if the Raptors wanted to see the ball in Iguodala’s hands on that last Warriors possession, Kawhi responded that Actually, Toronto Wanted to See the Ball in Their Own Hands.

Glorious.

Links

What the Raptors’ historic run means to Canada and basketball fans in the Great North.

DeMarcus Cousins on how these two huge injury comebacks are the product of really hard work and stubbornness.

Fred VanVleet, the playoff god.

What if the Lakers do have the right pieces and leverage to land Anthony Davis after all?

Scott Cacciola on those former Warriors from earlier in this epic run who still feel kinship with the team.

Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, was born four hours from Toronto. Ben Golliver explores how the town of Almonte preserves Naismith’s legacy while embracing the rise of the Raptors.

The Suns don’t appear to want Lonzo Ball much.

Dwyane Wade made a surprise appearance at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High’s graduation.

Nick Nurse’s minor league experience prepared him for this moment.

The Bulls got screwed in the lottery. What now?

How Kyle Lowry became the last Raptor standing.

And finally: Haley O’Shaughnessy tries to help Drake troll the Warriors more effectively.

Be excellent to each other.