The last 10 minutes were excruciating for fans from across Guelph who gathered on Carden Street to watch the Toronto Raptors make history on Thursday night — were ecstatic when the Canadian team won its first-ever National Basketball Association championship.
Despite temperatures hovering just above 10 degrees celsius, hundreds of fans made it out to Carden St., where the city erected a large blowup screen and projector to show Game 6, which the Raptors won in a close 114-110.
Afterwards, a smaller crowd shifted to the streets of downtown to continue the celebration, chanting and yelling down Wyndham St. past midnight.
The Golden State Warriors were set to have the emotional advantage coming in, playing their final game at Oracle and dedicating the evening to their superstar forward Kevin Durant, who was on the other side of the country after undergoing major surgery on his achilles Wednesday.
But Toronto just had too much energy, especially after Golden State lost the All-Star guard Klay Thompson for the entire fourth quarter after Thompson’s bad fall.
The Raptors had only made the playoffs five times in their first 18 years before going on a six-season run that culminated in a 4-2 NBA Finals victory over the two-time defending champion Golden State.
“And that’s how we do it in the North,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted after the win.
“I can’t really think right now, this is crazy. This is awesome man,” said Toronto guard Kyle Lowry. “Toronto! Canada! We brought it home baby! We brought it home!”
When the final buzzer sounded, extremely hyped Raptors fans flooded the streets of downtown Toronto for a night of celebration that reports said has not been see in Ontario’s capital since the Toronto Blue Jays last won a World Series title in 1993.