Our event of the day is the NBA fixture between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at the Oracle Arena. Considered to be two of the best teams in the NBA, the Warriors and Raptors meet for the second time this season. The Raptors are dominant in the East while the Warriors have regained a strong footing in the West after a turbulent end to November. Many predict the NBA Finals next June to be between these two teams. Each time boasts all-star talent and employs a unique offensive style, so be sure you don’t miss what is set to be a truly exciting match. The Warriors, who suffered a slump in November, have bounced back in style. Following the return of Steph Curry from injury, the Warriors have won four straight games. They also come into tonight’s game having been named Sports Illustrated ‘Sportsperson of the year’, only the fourth team to be presented with the prestigious award. The award is usually given to an individual athlete but was presented to the Warriors as a testament to their true dominance in the sport of basketball over the last few years. In spite of a highly competitive Western Conference, many expect another Finals run from the Warriors due to their sheer wealth of talent. Kevin Durant and Steph Curry have scored 216 points combined during the Warriors’ current four-game win streak, and along with Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, make up one of the fiercest offenses in the league. Furthermore, with Green also returning from injury, the Warriors will be at full strength as they prepare to end December with six games against Western Conference playoff contenders.
Meanwhile, despite a minor recent slide, the Raptors are in command of the Eastern Conference with a record of 22-7, their best record through 29 games since the 2014-15 season. They have blossomed behind the talent and leadership of offseason acquisition, Kawhi Leonard. Leonard leads the team by example with 26.1 points per game. If they manage to keep pace and hold off the threats posed by the Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics, they will win the Western Conference for the second consecutive season. The Warriors and the Raptors have met once this season already. The Raptors edged out the Warriors 131-128 in an overtime thriller that pitted Toronto’s speed-based offense against Golden State’s prowess from the field. However, that game was played during Steph Curry’s injury layoff, meaning that Kevin Durant was carrying the team, hence his 51-point performance. Tonight’s game will see both teams at full strength, and you can expect a game to remember.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NHL, where the Anaheim Ducks host the Dallas Stars at the Honda Center. The Ducks are enjoying a successful season as they look to improve on their first round exit from the playoffs last year. They come into this game against Dallas having won 3 of their last four games. The Stars, meanwhile, look for their first playoff appearance since the 2015-16 season. They too are enjoying a successful season and currently hold the first wild card place in the league standings. A game between two sides hungry for success, it will be well worth watching. Elsewhere, in the UEFA Champions League, Manchester City host Hoffenheim at the Etihad Stadium. At the Men’s Hockey World Cup, Argentina face England in the quarter-finals at the Kalinga Stadium. In snooker, the Scottish Open continues at the Emirates Stadium in Glasgow. In NCAA basketball, 24th ranked Houston face LSU at the Hofheinz Pavilion.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NBA
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