The Eastern and Western Conference Finals have been turned on their heads after the overwhelming favourites – Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors – were upset in Game 3 of the respective series.
After being swamped in the opening two games, the Toronto Raptors revelled in the more familiar surrounds of the Air Canada Center, ending the Cavaliers’ 10-match playoff win streak with a 99-84 victory.
As has so often happened in recent post-season matches, it was a dominant second-quarter performance – with the Raptors outscoring the Cavs 33-23 – that underpinned a gritty win. DeMar DeRozan top-scored with 32 points, while Bismarck Biyombo produced a Toronto playoffs record 26 rebounds.
The following day, the Oklahoma City Thunder capitalised on a return to their home court by snaring a 2-1 series lead, thumping the Warriors 133-105.
OKC’s marquee men Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had struggled to produce their best in unison during this post-season, but the pair combined for 63 points – Durant scoring 33 points on 10-for-15 shooting, and Westbrook racking up 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting.
Megastars LeBron James and Steph Curry were both restricted to 24 points for their teams.
The Raptors and Cavaliers do battle again on Tuesday (AEST), while the Thunder and Warriors square off in Game 4 on Wednesday (AEST).