OAKLAND, United States, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Superstar Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points and 12 rebounds to help the Toronto Raptors defeat the Golden State Warriors 105-92 in Game 4 for a 3-1 overall lead on Friday and move within a victory of the franchise's first championship.
The Raptors rallied from a 13-point deficit to notch up their second consecutive victory on Golden State's home floor while the two-time defending champions' quest for a three-peat is suddenly in real danger.
"I don't think it's daunting to get back to the series. We go to Toronto tomorrow so we look forward to playing another basketball game in an exciting atmosphere," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
"It's an ultimate test and I think we look at it as a challenge. Obviously we have got to lick our wounds tonight, a tough loss. But the game's a few days away. We'll have plenty of energy, and we'll be ready to go," he added.
A third-quarter surge has long been a Warriors trademark, but the Toronto used the same way to turn around the situation in Game 4.
After scoring only 42 points in the first half, the Raptors surged in the last two quarters against the Warriors, pouring in 37 points to just 21 from the Golden State in the third quarter and adding 26 more in the fourth. Golden State managed to reduce the cushion in the fourth quarter, but the Raptors stayed poised and answered well.
"I tried to stay as aggressive as possible, get to my spots, be confident, shoot the basketball," said Leonard, who had 17 points in the third quarter.
"They just took it to us right from the beginning of the third quarter. Kawhi Leonard hit two threes immediately and they turned up their defense, and they just got on a run. And we sort of lost that defensive tenacity that we had in the first half," said Kerr.
Toronto forward Serge Ibaka scored 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting in 22 minutes off the bench while Pascal Siakam added 19.
Klay Thompson made a strong return after missing Game 3 with a strained left hamstring and scored 28 points for the home team. Stephen Curry added 27 points but shot just 9 for 22 and 2 of 9 from 3-point range.
"We'll take a look at the tape, but we have been playing a certain style for a long time here. Steph is one of the great off-ball cutters in the league and it wasn't his best game, but he'll bounce back," Kerr said.
Toronto will take its first try at the title in Game 5 on Monday, and the Raptors are ready for the Warriors' dog fight.
"I think it's going to be difficult. They're going to be going crazy in Toronto. We have never really talked about the series score, can't let people take you some place you aren't yet," said Toronto head coach Nick Nurse.
"This is a great team and we know how hard we have to play to beat them. Home or away, we know how hard we have to play. Now we need to focus and fight. If we do that, then we'll give ourselves a chance to win and go from there," he added.