Give this to the Raptors, but the N.B.A. The finals are not over

Give this to the Raptors, but the N.B.A. The finals are not over
Oakland, California. - It was a fundamental game that was not, a good N.B.A. The final showdown was undone by so many injuries to so many screeching warrior stars that the result, a victory for the Raptors 123-109, became the strangest of postseason creations:

He was a mulligan, a reluctant gift to the Raptors, no less preordained for being fiercely contested. And the result came with questions still unanswered.

If the Toronto Raptors with this asterisk of a victory in the enemy territory had purged the nightmarish memory of their previous game when the Golden State Warriors embarked on a race, at its highest point, it had 18 consecutive points, that is, the land with salt and your equipment plowed under? What is the significance of this victory over a Warriors team that lost two pro-Hall of Famers, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant, who averaged a total of 55 points per game in these playoffs?

Stephen Curry, the remnant gaucho of The Warriors, did not seem inclined to crawl in a fetal position.

"We will adapt," he said. "It will be fun."

Draymond Green, the Warriors' stalwart defensive back, was no less cheerful: "Win the next game, come back to Toronto, win Game 5, go back to Oracle, win Game 6 and then celebrate, Times ahead."

Tides of Fortune The 7-foot Durant is expected to return near any day from a severely tense calf and has the most confusing firing touch of N.B.A. and the ability to twist your body in this way. As for Thompson, he spent Wednesday afternoon with his coaches and coaches, and almost demanding to play. Coach Steve Kerr made him ready to play, but we can assume he'll be back soon

All of which explains why Nick Nurse, the Raptors' first-year coach, did not seek absolution to take advantage of a wounded opponent.

"You really can not worry about any of that, right?" The nurse said "Five guys are going to come out, right? You can not really worry about that."

Right. The first team to win.

Wednesday's match had its intrigues. As an athlete with excellent muscle memory, the Warriors came out to play with the whip, the boat, the pass and then cut the style of their own. Even with stars replaced by bench players, the Warriors imposed some fluid runs that allowed the crowd to work in Pictish furies.

Curry became his own artisan industry of pure offense in the first quarter, scoring 17 points in 12 minutes with six rebounds and three assists. And Andre Iguodala, in the Old Man River of the 35 Warriors, hit 3-pointers and played strong defense. However, his teammates offered little help. Green threw an airball from the 3-point line, as did Boogie Cousins, the giant center.

Shaun Livingston, long and long as pastor of the church, started at Thompson and has had a good career. But he is in his 34th year, which makes him an older person by N.B.A. standards, and he has averaged only 4.1 points per game in these playoffs.

More dangerously, it could not match Thompson's spectacular shooting range, which extends far beyond the 3-point line. Livingston has not attempted a 3-point shot in his last 98 playoff games, spanning five years. When it was on the ground, the defense of the Raptors could be the speed of its internal perimeter.

Toronto was run by Kyle Lowry, the proud North Philly. He tried and pushed the offensive, and his jump shot, which was blinking like an old TV, was gleaming. It is about three point shots. Pascal Siakam, the young Cameroonian star in the making, placed a fake drip or three that almost separated the warriors.

Kawhi Leonard, the reigning star of the Raptors, found himself at a cross between a chess match and a wrestling match in this series. He has faced Green, arguably the best hand-to-hand defender in the league, and Iguodala, an intelligent defender. They crouched and collapsed on Leonard and, at times, left him frustrated enough to throw him unusually long and out of balance on the rim.

The charm of Leonard as a star is that his work ethic is unlimited. Like the waves that hit ashore, it continues to advance and bounce against the defender, making him gag and kick. This game did not seem to be one of the best but ended with 30 points, 2 steals, 2 blocks, and 7 rebounds.

Just do not wait. It's Greta Garbo, a man of few words in a group, on the court and at the post-match press conference. You were injured so much last year and missed the playoffs, a reporter noted.