When the final whistle blew on Thursday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland, history was made. Not only was Game 6 of the NBA Finals the last game in the history of the stadium, but the Toronto Raptors had been crowned champions of the NBA for the first time in their franchise’s 24-year history.
The Raptors defeated the two-time reigning champion Golden State Warriors on their home court in order to claim the title.
Thursday’s game was a tense, back-and-forth affair that the Raptors never controlled. In fact, they went into the fourth and final quarter trailing Golden State by an 88-86 score.
However, they charged ahead in the fourth quarter on the backs of a dominant Kawhi Leonard, who was named Finals MVP, and the hot three-point shooting of Raptors bench guard Fred VanVleet.
Leonard was named Finals MVP after averaging 28.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. His transcendental first season in Toronto led the Raptors to heights that had never before been experienced by the team.
It was the second Finals MVP for Leonard, after he won the award in the Spurs’ 2012 championship win.
Toronto will now celebrate their title and enjoy the fruits of a fantastic season which saw them do something that was almost unimaginable just a short time ago.