Welcome to Thursday’s roundup of must-see sports headlines, highlighted by the Toronto Raptors beating the Golden State Warriors in a dramatic Game 6 to win their first NBA championship.
We also look back on Drake and the city of Toronto celebrating the Raptors’title, Jordan Spieth ripping on his caddie after he hit a poor shot, and a 202-yard hole-in-one on day one of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Friday!
O Canada, O Champions! Toronto Raptors Outlast Golden State Warriors, Win First NBA Title
The Toronto Raptors dethroned the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, beating them 114-110 in a dramatic Game 6 to clinch their first NBA championship.
Thursday’s game featured wild swings and more drama for a series that already had its fair share of headlines. Playing in the last game in the history of Oracle Arena, the Warriors were resilient and showed the heart of a champion without their superstar Kevin Durant, who they lost to a ruptured Achilles in Game 5.
Shockingly, the injury bug struck them again late in the third when Klay Thompson went up for a shot and came down awkwardly, injuring his knee. Thompson, who ended up scoring 30 in Game 6, was assisted off the court but was told that if he didn’t take the upcoming foul shots he wouldn’t be able to return to the game. In dramatic fashion, he returned to the court to a thundering roar from the sold-out Oracle Arena and would take the free throws.
But that would be all for the night for Klay, as he returned to the locker room to be evaluated and was seen leaving the arena on crutches. Following the game, his agent Greg Lawrence told ESPN that Thompson suffered a torn ACL in his left knee.
With the score tied at 101 and the game hanging in the balance late in the fourth, the unsung hero of this year’s postseason, Fred VanVleet drilled a huge three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Raptors the lead for good. Drake, who was watching the game from Toronto’s now-famous Jurassic Park watch party, is seen in the video below celebrating the clutch three.
Trailing 111-110, the Warriors had one last shot with under ten seconds left to play to force a Game 7, but Stephen Curry’s three-pointer was off the mark.
As the buzzer sounded for the final time in Oracle, ESPN’s Mike Breen’s winning call said it best: “Toronto, Canada. We the North are now We the Champions. The Raptors – the 2019 NBA Champs.”
PEAK PERFORMER: Kawhi Leonard Wins His Second NBA Finals MVP Award
Kawhi Leonard capped one of the most impressive postseason runs by a player in NBA history with his second NBA Finals MVP. The Raptors superstar became the first player in history to win a Finals MVP with a team from each conference. He led the San Antonio Spurs to the championship in 2014, slaying the then two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
Leonard averaged 28.5 points per game on 43 percent shooting in the NBA Finals this season and became the first player since Larry Bird in 1984 to lead the league in points, rebounds and steals for an entire postseason.
The Raptors had a huge shake-up last summer when they parted ways with Kyle Lowry’s best friend DeMar DeRozan and brought in Kawhi Leonard via a blockbuster trade with the Spurs. Following the championship clincher, Leonard shared what he had texted Lowry when he was traded to Toronto:
Safe to say, I think they made things work out.
Party like it’s 2019! Drake Joins Fans to Celebrate Title in Jurassic Park
The Toronto Raptors captivated the entire country of Canada during their magical run to their first NBA title. Thousands across the country attended watch parties at “Jurassic Parks,” and Canadian fans reveled in their first professional sports championship since the Toronto Blue Jays won the 1993 World Series.
Drake was a courtside fixture at the Raptors home games and attended one of the watch parties on Thursday night. His Canadian pride has shown throughout this run and was in full force when his favorite team clinched their first championship:
Raptors fans can say it loud and proud now, they are the champions:
MUST-WATCH PLAY OF THE DAY: Rory Sabbatini’s 202-Yard Hole-In-One at the U.S. Open
The winds were down and the scores were up on Thursday at Pebble Beach during the first round of the U.S. Open. Thirty-nine players shot under par, led by 2013 U.S. Open winner Justin Rose, who shot a 6-under par 65. He’ll begin the second round with a one-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele and Aaron Wise, who all posted 5-under scores.
Rose’s 65 matched the U.S. Open record at Pebble Beach for the lowest round, which was also shot by Tiger Woods in 2000 on his way to a fifteen shot rout of the field. Players took advantage of the benign conditions on Thursday, making a U.S. Open record 17 eagles.
One of those eagles is our play of the day – an ace by Rory Sabbatini on the par 3, 202-yard 12th hole, which you can enjoy below.
MOMENT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT: Jordan Spieth Rips Caddie After Bad Shots at U.S. Open
Jordan Spieth is not afraid to voice his frustrations on the golf course and his latest in-round venting session has him taking some heat on social media. The three-time major champion made two huge mistakes on the 8th hole during Thursday’s first round of the U.S. Open and following his second, microphones picked up him blaming his long-time caddie, Michael Greller.
Spieth had hit what appeared at first to be a solid drive into the fairway on the 8th but it rolled out and off of a cliff. “Two perfect shots, Michael,” says Spieth after he flew the green with his second shot on the 8th. “You got me one in the water and one over the green.”
Golfing fans were not happy with Spieth calling out his caddie on national television and took to Twitter to defend Greller.
Spieth ended up shooting a 1-over par 72 and is seven shots off the lead heading into the second round. He’ll tee it up with Greller by his side at 11:24am ET on Friday.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- Shohei Ohtani becomes first Japanese-born player to hit for cycle
- Report: Kevin Durant expected to miss the entire 2019-2020 season
- Zion Williamson sues to end agreement with marketing company
- Australia rallies to beat Brazil in women’s FIFA World Cup
- U.S. Open Golf Championship: Round 2 tee times, groupings
WHAT’S ON TAP FOR THIS WEEKEND
U.S. OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and a host of the world’s top golfers will look to dethrone the two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka as the U.S. Open draws to a thrilling Father’s Day finish from iconic Pebble Beach.
Second Round (Friday): 12:30pm ET (FS1), 7:30pm ET (FOX)
Third Round (Saturday): 12pm-10pm ET (FOX)
Final Round (Sunday): 12pm-10pm ET (FOX)
FIFA Women’s World Cup: U.S. vs. Chile
Fresh off a 13-0 drubbing of Thailand, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team takes on Chile in their second group play game.
Date: Sunday, 6/16
Time: 12pm ET