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Toronto Raptors Win Game 6 to Deliver Canada’s First NBA Championship

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For the first time in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors are NBA champions.

The Raptors survived a gutty performance by the Golden State Warriors in Game 6, as the defending champions did not let go off their title without a fight.

The real turning point that ended the Warriors reign was when Klay Thompson left the game with an injury.

Thompson was incredible throughout the night, as he scored at will to keep his team alive in another elimination game.

Unfortunately, Thompson suffered a torn ACL that ended his incredible performance and really any chance the Warriors had at winning their third-straight championship.

Still, Thompson proved his incredible toughness when he delivered maybe the most iconic moment of the game, as he returned to the court to make his free throws.

Without Thompson, the Warriors did all they could to try stay in the game and even had a chance to win it on one final possession.

Golden State got Curry a relatively open look for a three that would have given them the lead, but he could not knock it down.

For the Raptors it took a team effort in Game 6, as it did the whole series, for them to get the win.

Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard and Fred VanVleet all scored at least 20 points, to win their third-straight game on the road in the Finals.

Lowry played especially well, getting the Raptors started by scoring their first 11 points, on his way to a historic double-double.

While Lowry was great throughout, it was no surprise who won the NBA Finals MVP, as that honor went to Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard averaged 30.5 points and 9.1 rebound in the playoffs, as he made his own case for being the best player in the world right now.

One of the craziest aspects of Kawhi’s dominance is the two teams that he beat to win his Finals MVP’s.

First he beat the Miami Heat in 2014, effectively ending their Big Three Era. And while injuries played as big as a role as Kawhi did, he has now put an end to the Warriors dynasty as well.

Masai Ujiri made a big gamble when he traded for Leonard, with no insurances that he would be in Toronto past this season.

Well, it looks like that gamble paid off for an entire country of Raptors fans.

Basketball

Three-Time NBA Champion Shaun Livingston Announces His Retirement

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Over the past five seasons, the Golden State Warriors have put together one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning three championships and making five-straight appearances in the NBA Finals.

Now they are turning the page to a new era of Warriors basketball, still surrounded around their homegrown ‘Big Three’ of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green’.

But the role players from those great Warriors teams have moved on and for some, are calling it quits altogether. As Shaun Livingston just announced his retirement from the NBA.

In his farewell message, Livingston cites “the injury”, referring to a devastating knee injury that he suffered back in 2007.

The injury was so bad for Livingston, that it almost resulted in his leg being amputated it was so bad.

Livingston made a remarkable recovery from the injury and turned in a fantastic career. The last stages of his career came with the Golden State Warriors, were he proved to be an excellent backup point guard to Curry.

Without Livingston’s ability to make plays and play stout defense at 6-foot-7, the Warriors would not have been three-time champions.

Congrats to Livingston on a great career, which we never could have expected him to have back in 2007.

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Basketball

Joe Johnson Signs with the Detroit Pistons, Michael Beasley Released

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After it appeared that Joe Johnson’s career may be coming to a close, Iso Joe found new life in the Big 3, working his way back into the NBA.

Johnson, 38, has been signed to the Detroit Pistons on a one-year contract.

Johnson did not garner any initial interest when it came to his free agency this offseason, but then came his stint in the Big 3, which saw him absolutely demolish the competition.

Johnson led his team, the Triplets, to a Big 3 championship and was named the league’s MVP. Now he goes back into the NBA, after he was out of the league for all of last season.

We last saw Johnson play for the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets in the 2017-18 NBA season, when he averaged 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for the two teams.

What Johnson proved in the Big 3, is if you give him the minutes and the ball, he can still get buckets with the best of them.

To make room for him on the Pistons roster, they ended up releasing Michael Beasley, who was suspended to start the season anyway.

Johnson joins forces with Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose, to a form a team that we would have been salivating over seven years ago.

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Basketball

Team USA Eliminated From FIBA World Cup After Losing to France in Quarterfinals

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Team USA has officially been eliminated from the FIBA World Cup, suffering their most embarrassing international loss in some time.

France outscored Team USA by 13 points in the fourth quarter to seal a 10-point victory and advance to the semifinals.

Donovan Mitchell carried the Americans through the first three quarters of the game, finishing with a team-high 29 points.

On the other hand, Kemba Walker had a terrible last game, in what was otherwise an amazing tournament for the NBA All-Star. He was held to just 10 points and did not notch a single assist.

Walker was actually outplayed all game by French guard, Frank Ntilikina. Ntilikina has had a disappointing start to his NBA career with the New York Knicks, but showed he can still play in this game.

Ntilikina, 21, is most known for being the last first-round pick by Phil Jackson, before he was removed from his role as the President of the Knicks.

It is a pick that has been mocked since, as better players like Mitchell where selected after Ntilikina was taken eighth overall.

In this game however, Ntilikina made all of the difference, as his work locking up Walker on the defense, proved to be the deciding factor in France’s win.

Ntilikina also hit two big shots at the end of the game for France, as they ended a 58-game winning streak by Team USA in international play.

Along with Ntilikina, France received big performances from their two biggest NBA stars, Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier.

Team USA was not the only team to get upset in the quarterfinals, as Serbia also suffered a shocking defeat by losing to Argentina.

Argentina’s only real well-known NBA player is Luis Scola, who has been out of the league for a few years. Yet they beat Nikola Jokic and a favored Serbian team.

Now Team USA will play Serbia in the loser’s bracket, meanwhile France will take on Argentina in the semifinals.

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