SeeThe Toronto Raptors beat defending champions the Golden State Warriors 114-110 to win their first NBA title.
Kawhi Leonard was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, averaging 28.5 points, as the Raptors won the best-of-seven series 4-2.
“It was heck of a 12 months,” Toronto head coach Nick Nurse said after his side became the only Canadian franchise to win the NBA.
“This is why I play basketball; this is what I work hard for,” added Leonard.
The Warriors, who headed into the finals with back-to-back wins and had won three of the past four NBA titles, were without the injured Kevin Durant and lost Klay Thompson to cruciate knee ligament damage in the third quarter.
Steph Curry had a chance to tie the series with a missed three-pointer when the Warriors trailed 111-110, before Leonard sealed the victory for the visitors.
The Raptors are the first Canadian club side to win a major North American sports title since the Toronto Blue Jays captured Major League Baseball’s World Series in 1993.
The NBA was expanded to Canada in 1995 when it incorporated the newly formed Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies – who later relocated and became the Memphis Grizzlies.
Leonard becomes a Toronto legend
Kawhi Leonard was named Most Valuable Payer in the NBA Finals for the second time in is career
Leonard – the Raptors’ leading scorer in his debut season – joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players to be named the NBA Finals’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) with two different teams.
The forward, MVP with the San Antonio Spurs in their championship-winning 2014 season, is the only player in history to receive the accolade in both the Eastern and Western Conferences.
Brothers make NBA history
Pau Gasol (left) with his brother and former Memphis Grizzlies player Marc
On a historic night, Marc and Pau Gasol became the first brothers to both win an NBA championship.
Pau, 38 won back-to-back titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010, and has made six NBA All-Star appearances.
Brother Marc, 34, who joined Toronto in February, beat his Milwaukee Bucks sibling in the Eastern Conference Finals.
“It’s a dream to have achieved this,” Spanish center Marc Gasol said. “I’ve never worked so hard.”
In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca before game six, Pau said: “Marc and I have been so lucky throughout our lives to have achieved things that we would never have imagined in our wildest dreams as kids.”
Warriors bid farewell to Oracle
The Warriors have played at the Oracle Arena for 47 years
It was the Warriors’ final game at the Oracle Arena – their home in Oakland, California, for 47 years – before they move to the $1bn (£789m) Chase Center in San Francisco.
The Warriors had been hoping to mark the occasion with a win to force game seven.
Golden State forward Draymond Green, who scored 11 points, said: “Everybody on this team played with a lot of heart. We just came up a little short.”
The end of the ‘Drake curse’?
Drake celebrated the win in Toronto’s Jurassic Park
Superfan and Raptors ambassador Drake, regularly seen courtside at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, opted out of a trip to the West Coast, choosing to watch game six back home in Maple Leaf Square – nicknamed Jurassic Park – with thousands of fans.
Previously, the rapper has become notorious for the ‘Drake curse’ – his unfortunate habit of being photographed with some of the world’s biggest sports stars just before they lose.
Most recently, he was pictured alongside British heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua… and we all know how that ended.