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Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett Shred National Anthem at NBA Finals (Watch)

The Toronto Raptors lead the Golden State Warriors two to one in the seven game series.

Metallica National Anthem
YouTube/Screenshot

Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett kicked off Wednesday’s NBA Finals game at the Oracle Arena in Oakland with a heavy metal rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Taking position on the court in front of a projection of American flags, the two guitarists traded licks with Hammett taking the lead and Hetfield providing the rhythm. Also keeping with Metallica’s signature style, Hammett’s guitar playing was heavily distorted and unsparing in its use of the Wah-wah pedal. The duo injected so much of the band’s sound that busting out the legendary “Master of Puppets” riff wouldn’t have seemed out of place (watch the performance below).

Metallica formed in Los Angeles, but has mostly been based in the Bay Area. Hammett, the lead guitarist since the band’s sophomore 1984 album “Ride the Lightning,” is a San Francisco native. The band has a special affinity with the Bay and vice versa. The rockers frequent Bay Area sporting events, including playing an annual “Metallica Night” with the San Francisco Giants.

The pre-game metal hype apparently wasn’t enough to take the Golden State Warriors to a victory, however. The Toronto Raptors bested the Bay Area team 123 to 109 to take a two to one lead in the seven game series. Raptors superfan Drake was not in attendance for game three, but Beyonce and Jay-Z were seen in courtside seats.

The teams will play next on Friday in Oakland and head back to Toronto on Monday for game five — where it is unlikely that Metallica will shred “O Canada.”