The Golden State Warriors have been to the NBA Finals five times in five years. In their first four trips, they won the first game of the series. But on Thursday, the Toronto Raptors ended their streak of Game 1 Finals victories by beating them 118-109 to take an early lead in the series. The difference was bigger than the margin suggests. The Warriors had no answers for Toronto’s athleticism. The Raptor role players had easy shots all game long. And when the time came from a superstar to seal the deal, Kawhi Leonard was magnificent in the fourth quarter.
Now the Warriors are in unfamiliar territory. A loss would have the Raptors only two wins away from a championship. The Warriors have never overcome a 2-0 deficit since Steve Kerr became their head coach, and they’d prefer not to have to start now. The Warriors got a good, long look at the Raptors on Thursday. They’ve spent the last few days figuring out how to adjust to their new opponent. We will see a different team wearing blue and gold on the floor tonight. Here are the starting lineups for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.