2019 NBA Finals
The 2019 NBA Finals was the championship series of the National Basketball Association’s 2018–19 season. The Toronto Raptors defeated the defending NBA champion and Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors, 4–2. This was the first NBA Finals appearance for the Raptors, and the league’s first finals with games played outside of the United States. Kawhi Leonard was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player for the second time in his career.
About 2019 NBA Finals in brief
The 2019 NBA Finals was the championship series of the National Basketball Association’s 2018–19 season and conclusion of the season’s playoffs. The Toronto Raptors defeated the defending NBA champion and Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors, 4–2. This was the first NBA Finals appearance for the Raptors, and the league’s first finals with games played outside of the United States. It was also the first Finals since 2010 not to include LeBron James, who played in the past eight Finals with the Cavaliers and the Miami Heat. Kawhi Leonard was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player for the second time in his career. The Raptors also won their first NBA championship as well as the first win by an NBA team based outside the U.S. The Warriors were the second team in NBA history to achieve this feat, joining the Boston Celtics,. They were the first team in 42 years with a starting lineup of five NBA All-Stars from the previous season. The team finished the regular season with a 57–25 record, winning the Pacific Division and securing the 1st seed in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, Golden State defeated the Clippers in six games in the first round, despite blowing leads at home in Games 2 and 5. After starting nine consecutive games, Andre Iguodala missed the deciding Game 4 with a sore left calf injury from Game 3. After losing Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Orlando Magic, the Raptors won the next four games in a row and won the series in five games.
The series ended in a Game 1 victory for Toronto over the 76ers in the semifinals, 2–1 in the third game, and 3–0 in the fourth game of the series. The Finals was held from May 30 through June 13, 2019, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. The final game was played on June 13 at the Bank of America Arena in New York City, with the Raptors winning the series 4–1. The NBA Finals is the first time in five consecutive NBA Finals appearances that the then-two-time defending NBA-champion Warriors did not have home-court advantage. The Cleveland Cavaliers did not meet in the championship round after the past four postseasons, and did not face the Warriors again until the 2014-15 season. During the off-season, Toronto traded DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Pöltl to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. The move stunned the All-Star DeR Rozan, who had become a fan favorite in his nine seasons in Toronto. In January 2019, Cousins returned to the Warriors and the team became the firstTeam in 42 years with a starting line-up of five All-stars from the last season. In November 2018, Draymond Green cursed out teammate Kevin Durant over his upcoming free agency status after the season, and he was suspended for the much-publicized blowup. Durant had been the team’s best player in the postseason, averaging a team-leading 35. 4 points.