Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry makes a shot at practice for the NBA Finals in Oakland on Wednesday June 12, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Fans prepare for Raptors to play in Game 6 of the NBA Finals

TORONTO — Fans across Canada are gearing up for the Toronto Raptors to play in Game 6 of the NBA Finals tonight as the team takes a second shot at clinching the championship.

The Raptors lead the Golden State Warriors 3-2 in the best-of-seven series after losing by a single point on Monday.

If Toronto wins, the team will secure the title for the first time in franchise history.

The team is in Oakland, Calif., for the game, but city officials aren’t expecting that to dampen the party at Jurassic Park, the outdoor fanzone beside Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto.

The city will shut down several nearby streets in anticipation of an overflow crowd.

Fans rooting for Canada’s only NBA team elsewhere in the country also have a chance to watch the game among a mob of their peers.

Montreal will shut down two city blocks to allow people to cheer on the Raptors.

Regina, meanwhile, will once again show the game on a massive screen at the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ home stadium, and select Cineplex Odeon theatres will offer free screenings.

Some Raptors fans may feel the need to do penance during tonight’s game, after they cheered when Warriors star Kevin Durant went down on Monday, clutching his ankle.

What the fans didn’t know is that Durant had severed his Achilles tendon — a potentially career-altering injury. He has since undergone surgery, and is in for a long rehab and recovery.

Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who lived in Toronto when his father played for the Raptors 20 years ago, said that the cheers left him confused.

“It’s not my experience with the people of this city,” he said. “I just hope that ugliness doesn’t show itself again as we go forward in this series.”

One Toronto fan has since set up an online fundraiser for the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, which helps at-risk youth.

“We’re sorry that some fans of Raptor Nation at the Scotiabank arena, Jurassic Park, and in some bars/restaurants showing the game, displayed an ugly side of fandom when they cheered on the injury of Kevin Durant,” says the fundraiser on GoFundMe.

By Tuesday night, it had raised more than $15,000.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fatal collision on Highway 11 west of Red Deer

Westbound lanes closed on Highway 11

Flooding displaces seniors from Red Deer building

Bridges Community Living assessing damage

Red Deer Justice Film Festival returns this week for 12th year

A collection of films focusing on different global issues will be screened… Continue reading

Women of Excellence nominations close next week

The deadline for the 2020 Women of Excellence Gala is only a… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

CFL to stage Toronto-Saskatchewan regular-season contest in Halifax

The CFL is returning to Halifax. A CFL source says the league… Continue reading

Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris closes in on White’s X Games medal record

Mark McMorris is on the verge of Winter X Games history. Winning… Continue reading

Aerosmith drummer loses bid to rejoin band for Grammy honours

BOSTON — A judge has told Aerosmith’s drummer Joey Kramer to dream… Continue reading

Canadian superstars Shawn Mendes and Drake among nominees at the Grammys

TORONTO — From Shawn Mendes to Drake, the line-up of Canadian nominees… Continue reading

Gardening: Purchase seeds that fit your values and budget

Spring is only a few months away and it is time to… Continue reading

Ottawa pledges to match funds raised for families of Iran plane crash victims

TORONTO — The federal government promised Wednesday to match all contributions to… Continue reading

Union fined for violating court order in Regina refinery labour dispute

REGINA — A judge has fined a union that represents more than… Continue reading

Most Read