Wednesday 5th June 2019

Event of the day: Game 3 of the NBA Finals

Our event of the day is game 3 of the NBA Finals, with the Golden State Warriors hosting the Toronto Raptors at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. The two sides are tied 1-1 after the impressive return as a starter of DeMarcus Cousins helped Golden State to a game 2 victory. The teams will look to break the deadlock on Golden State’s home court in what is sure to be an exciting match. After a bruising game 1 loss, the Warriors bounced back to level the series in game 2. Despite trailing at half-time, Golden State opened the third quarter by scoring eighteen unanswered points to take a 72-59 lead. They never relinquished the lead, holding it for the final 22 minutes and 11 seconds of the match. They were able to do this thanks to the return of DeMarcus Cousins. While Cousins played limited minutes in game 1, he was named as a starter for the second game. This filled the hole in the starting line-up that the Warriors had struggled with during Cousins’ injury. Cousins was able to provide a physicality, especially in match-ups with players like Marc Gasol, that the Warriors’ rotation previously couldn’t. The Raptors’ defence had excelled at suffocating Steph Curry at the perimeter.

However with Cousins on the floor, the defence had to expand to accommodate him while Curry also had someone reliable to pass out to. This allowed Curry and Klay Thompson, the Splash Brothers, to break out for 23 and 25 points respectively. Curry and Thompson are one of the deadliest shooting duos in the league and with Golden State having threats across the court, Toronto will not be able to devote the defence to shut down the Warriors’ most potent threat. The Warriors were also helped by a shooting slump from the Raptors. Toronto shot 37.2% from the field and Kawhi’s team-high 34 points were double that of Toronto’s next highest points scorer, Fred VanVleet. The problem for Toronto is while they have the deeper roster, their bench cannot go up against the super-team that is Golden State’s starters. The Warriors will however miss Kevin Durant for another game and there are questions as to whether Thompson will be fit for tonight as well. However, as the series travels to Oakland, the Warriors hold a distinct advantage. They have won their last five home court Finals games, last losing at the Oracle Arena in game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. The Raptors are 4-4 on the road through the playoffs and 1-0 at the Oracle Arena this season so the question remains as to how they will perform tonight. Whatever happens, it’s a match you won’t want to miss.

Honourable mentions go to the Cricket World Cup, with India playing South Africa at the Rose Bowl near Southampton. South Africa failed to chase Bangladesh in a high-scoring match on Sunday, dropping them to 0-2 in the competition. Meanwhile, India begins their tournament after their first match was rescheduled to allow for further recovery for the team after the conclusion of the Indian Premier League season. Indian is projected to do well in the tournament while South Africa will be eager to turn things around, culminating in what is sure to be an exciting match. The semifinals of the UEFA Nations League begin with Portugal hosting Switzerland at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto. Portugal made the knockout stage after 2 wins and 2 draws in a group with Italy and Poland. Meanwhile, Switzerland won 3 and drew once in their group with Belgium and Iceland. While Switzerland are the underdogs against the Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal, this tournament has shown that anything is possible and so is sure to be a memorable night of European football. The State of Origin series between Queensland and New South Wales begins at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. The best of three rugby league series pits teams representing the two Australian provinces against one another in a must-watch spectacle. New South Wales are the defending champions after a thrilling 2-1 victory last year. The event is quintessentially Australian and something you won’t want to miss. In the MLB, the Chicago Cubs host the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field for the second game of their three-game series. 

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by NBA

 

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