Fans hoping for another historic win from Toronto Raptors left disappointed
Fans hoping for a repeat winning performance from the Toronto Raptors were left disappointed on Sunday as the Golden State Warriors came back in Game 2 of the NBA Finals with a 109-104 win.
Despite having a strong lead at halftime, the Raptors were unable to clinch a second win in the series after defeating the Warriors in Game 1 on Thursday.
“I’ve been here since 10 in the morning and you know, waiting for this game, to get inside Jurassic Park, and to see this result, is terrible,” one fan told CTV News Toronto after the game.
“I’m so sad I started crying,” another fan said.
Capacity reached for Jurassic Park, overflow sections
Thousands of fans lined up in the early hours of the morning on Sunday to guarantee a spot inside the dedicated Raptors fan-zone outside Scotiabank Arena for Game 2.
General Motors worker Carleton Plummer was the first one to arrive at Jurassic Park at 12:50 a.m.
“It was hard, it was dark, it was cold, it was rainy, it was damp, but you know what I really wanted to get in to Jurassic Park,” he said. “It’s a feeling like no other. To be honest, I think it’s actually better than being inside.
Laptop and books in hand, Grade 12 student Yaathavan Rajshankar said that he wasn’t going to let his homework get in the way of the NBA Finals.
“I’m working on my seminar on Tuesday,” he said. “I’m gonna do whatever it takes. I gotta finish my homework, but I’m not gonna miss this game.”
The NBA Finals kicked off on Thursday with much fanfare as the Raptors made their historic debut following their victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. This is the first time in franchise history that the Raptors have had the opportunity to win the NBA Championship Trophy.
Fans flocked to Toronto from all over the world for the opportunity to take part in the Raptors historic journey. James and Courtney Auclair even took a 15,000 kilometer flight from Brisbane, Australia just for a chance
“It’s even better in person. It can’t be best honestly,” James Auclair said.
About 10,000 people watched Game 2 from Jurassic Park and its overflow sections on Bremner Boulevard.
Sporting his flamboyant black and gold Raptors-themed jacket, Toronto Mayor John Tory stopped by Jurassic Park to mingle with fans while they waited for the gates to open. He said that he met people from Chicago and Montreal who have come to be a part of the NBA Finals.
“These are the most extraordinary fans,” he told CTV News Toronto. “They’ve driven in to be part of Jurassic Park because they’ve seen it on TV and they think it’s extraordinary, which it is. And I think it’s going to give our guys extra energy tonight. I think it’s a great thing.”
Viewing parties took place across the GTA
Last week, Jurassic West in Mississauga, formerly known as Celebration Square, was packed with about 20,000 fans cheering on the Toronto Raptors.
“We are so proud,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “You have to remember that we are home to the Raptors 905 … we are a basketball culture right here.”
Venearla Storrd went to Jurassic West to watch Thursday’s game and made sure to come early on Sunday in order to save a spot for herself and her sister.
“It was crazy. We had a great time. Everyone had just positive energy and good vibes, and that’s why I came back here to celebrate with these people in Mississauga.
Raptors gear hard to come by
The hype from the team’s Game 1 win has made it difficult for fans hoping to snag a last-minute Raptors jersey, hat or hoodie. The team’s success has meant that stock is running out.
“I’ve worked here for over four years and within those years, before the finals this year, it has been pretty slow,” said John Lima from Pro Image Sports. “And when they made it to the finals, everyone started barging in, buying everything.”
Some fans have been going from store to store, hoping to find a piece of memorabilia still left on the rack.
“It’s very hard to come by. Went into the Sports Check…they had a tiny little rack of Raptors stuff and they said that was all they had in the store,” one shopper said.