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Fans watch as Raptors go back to California looking to clinch NBA title in Game 6
If the Toronto Raptors are worried about the teams’ one point loss in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, they didn’t show it Tuesday morning as they arrived at Pearson International Airport to board a charter flight to Oakland.
After picking up their boarding passes, none of the players stopped to sign autographs for the handful of fans waiting at Gate A of the airport’s Terminal 3.
But if they had stopped, Raptors fan Nathan Ing, who lives in east Toronto, would have had a message of encouragement to share.
“You guys can win, and not just do it for yourselves but do it for the city of Toronto,” he said.
There were a few brief cheers from fellow travellers after Raptors star Kawhi Leonard arrived. As he’s done throughout the playoffs, Leonard did not stop or acknowledge fans and proceeded directly to his flight.
About 45 minutes after the Raptors had boarded their flight, members of the Golden State Warriors arrived via a police escort on two charter buses. As stars Klay Thompson and Steph Curry walked into the terminal, the crowd started calling out for autographs.
Thompson stopped to sign Nick Paruki’s deflated basketball. The Golden State fan made the two-hour drive from Buffalo with his friend Justin Gospodarsky, who managed to get Thompson to sign his team jersey.
But with their team still trailing in the series, they’re cautiously optimistic about the outcome.
“We’ll see,” said Paruki. “Last night was obviously a great game and obviously Kevin’s (Durant) done, but we need two more wins.”
Gospodarsky is sure his team is going to take Game 6 and that the series will return to Toronto on Sunday for the deciding game. And to him that means “anything can happen.”
The Raptors will take on the Warriors in Game 6 on Thursday at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.