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Pascal Siakam scored a playoff career-high 32 points and the Raptors made a smashing NBA Finals debut, beating the Golden State Warriors 118-109 on Thursday night.

 

The Raptors hardly looked like newcomers to the NBA's biggest stage, controlling the action most of the way against a Golden State team beginning its fifth straight NBA Finals appearance.

 

Kawhi Leonard added 23 points and Marc Gasol had 20 for the Raptors, who weren't in awe of the setting or their opponents who had played 22 NBA Finals games in the last four years.

 

Stephen Curry scored 34 points and Klay Thompson had 21 for the Warriors, who had won all four Game 1s in the last four years.

 

Siakam then went 6 for 6 in the third quarter to keep Golden State from gaining much ground, and the Raptors kept their lead around double digits for much of the final quarter, countering every attempt the Warriors made to catch up.

 

Toronto shot 50.6 percent from the field and the Warriors never found an answer for Siakam, the finalist for Most Improved Player who has a nice start for an NBA Finals MVP resume.

 

The native of Cameroon and nicknamed Spicy P was red hot, shooting 14 for 17 from the field - and he tipped in his own shot on the last of those misses with 54 seconds to play.

 

DeMarcus Cousins made it back from a torn left quadriceps to come off the bench in his first NBA Finals game, but the Warriors remained without Kevin Durant, the MVP of the last two NBA Finals. He traveled to Toronto but it's unclear if he'll play before the series returns to the Bay Area, with Warriors coach Steve Kerr saying he would have to go through practice first.

 

Game 2 is Sunday night in Toronto, which is hosting an NBA Finals game for the first time after the Raptors entered the league as an expansion team in 1995.

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