The era of Warriors basketball in Oakland has come to an end. Golden State Warriors lost their final game at Oracle Arena 114-110 to the Toronto Raptors, handing the Canadian squad their first NBA title in a hard-fought game where neither team could build a sizable lead after the first quarter. The crowd was on fire the whole game, giving the Warriors the impassioned sendoff they deserved after the 42 years they spent in the City.
Perhaps this game would have been different if the Warriors had been healthy, but Kevin Durant was lost to an Achilles rupture in the previous game and Klay Thompson was injured in the third quarter of this game when his knee appeared to buckle on a dunk attempt where he was fouled. After he made his free throw attempts, he did not return to the game. The Raptors played solid defense and hit some clutch shots in the fourth and managed to hold on for the win.
This ends Golden State’s quest for a three-peat and gives the East its first Lebron James-less title since the Boston Celtics overcame the Lakers in 2008. Oracle Arena now will lie dormant as the Warriors move across the Bay Bridge to their new digs in San Francisco for next season, which begins in the fall. But much like 49ers games lost their charm when the team moved from dank, windy old Candlestick to Santa Clara where fans pay to enjoy watching the game from the surface of the Sun, will the Warriors games have the same atmosphere in a more affluent arena? That’s unlikely, but the team is still likely to contend for titles for years to come.