Leonard lifts Raptors within one victory of title dream

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Raptors fans ready for Game 4 of NBA Finals

It was over when...

Part of that is because of the magnitude of the moment, as the Raptors found themselves staring at a chance to put a stranglehold on this series.

Kawhi Leonard hoisted the Toronto Raptors onto his back in the third quarter of Friday's NBA Finals game against Golden State and lifted them within one triumph of their first championship.

Game 5 will be played at 1pm Tuesday.

"You just try to win one game", Kerr said afterward. Leonard had 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting while the rest of the Raptors were restricted to just three points on 1-of-13 shooting. "The first half it was pretty good".

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After the Golden State Warriors came out firing in the first quarter, the Raptors were able to withstand the charge behind Kawhi Leonard's game-leading 36 points and 12 rebounds.

The Raptors' pull-away began with an Ibaka three-pointer that broke a 61-all tie with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Toronto Raptors are one win from their first National Basketball Association title. Despite Klay Thompson coming back with a strong 28 point performance, the Raptors overwhelmed the Warriors in the second half and are looking as though they can close this thing out back in Toronto.

The Raptors outscored the Warriors 15-6 the rest of the quarter - and 37-21 for the entire third - to take a 79-67 lead with 12 minutes left. VanVleet's tooth was chipped on the play and he needed seven stitches under his eye to fix the gash, but he rejoined the team on the bench after being tended to in the back.

Following TFC's 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City in MLS action at BMO Field in Toronto, many fans stayed to watch Game 4 of the NBA Finals on the venue's giant screen.

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Entering Friday's Game 4, the Warriors had lost two of their first three games to the Raptors playing without him. This was Leonard's 14th time scoring at least 30 points this postseason.

Leonard went 11-for-22 from the floor, including a number of back-breakers in the second half. Reserve big man Serge Ibaka added 20 enormous points while making 9 of his 12 attempts.

It would be the first title by a Canadian club in any of the four major sports since the Toronto Blue Jays won a second straight World Series in 1993. Golden State's Stephen Curry is 0 for 5 from beyond the arc, and so is Toronto's Danny Green. Golden State's Draymond Green said. "And that's all we did".

"Kawhi's two big threes to start the half really, I thought, changed the whole feel for everybody", Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

"There are other people telling him, 'It's the NBA Finals, you've got to gut your way through it'".

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They've successfully overcome a 3-1 deficit in the playoffs before - but never in the NBA Finals, and never when they needed to win two road games to win the series.

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