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Thousands crowd streets around Toronto to cheer on the Raptors in playoff game


TORONTO — Thousands of fans in the Toronto area are taking to the streets to cheer on the Raptors as the city hosts the NBA Finals for the first time.

Tipoff between the Raptors and Golden State Warriors started at 9 p.m. ET, but lineups outside the Scotiabank Arena to fill "Jurassic Park" started forming hours before.

The square hit its capacity of 6,000 people, forcing police to shut down nearby streets for the overflow of fans.

West of Toronto, Peel police say about 20,000 people formed to cheer on the Raptors at Celebration Square in Mississauga, Ont., including their own officers.

In Burlington, Ont., a large group of spectators watched the game outside, applauding every time the Raptors scored. The city announced it was shutting down streets around the area dubbed #BurlassicPark because of larger than expected crowds.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, owner of the Raptors, approved outdoor viewing spaces for NBA Finals games in cities across the country prior to Game 1.

The Raptors won 118-109 in Game 1.

Game 2 of the Finals is Sunday at Scotiabank Arena.

The Canadian Press