The Golden State Warriors are still alive. They briefly got Kevin Durant back before in the second quarter, then hung on for a dramatic 106-105 Game 5 victory over the Toronto Raptors to close their deficit in the series to 3-2.
Durant and the Warriors got off to a red-hot start, making their first five 3-pointers to jump out to an early lead. Their defense wasn't able to match their offense, though, and the Raptors quickly got back into the game, even taking a lead of their own for a short time. Once Durant re-entered the game late in the quarter, the Warriors went on another nice run to build a comfortable lead after the first 12 minutes.
Unfortunately for the Warriors and Durant, the feel-good story turned into a nightmare early in the second quarter when heand was ultimately ruled out of the remainder of the game. Raptors fans initially cheered the injury before being told to calm down by players on the court, as Durant was helped back to the locker room. Following the game, Warriors team president Bob Myers confirmed Durant , but didn't know the extent of the injury. The superstar will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.
After Durant left the game, the Warriors got a nice boost from DeMarcus Cousins on the offensive end and managed to extend their lead to as much as 13 points. The Raptors managed to work their way back into the game, thanks to some better effort on the defensive end that forced a number of turnovers and led to easy baskets on the other end. Still, the Warriors maintained their six-point advantage going into the half.
Golden State began the second half much like it did the first, which is to say it couldn't miss from downtown. The Warriors quickly rebuilt their double-digit lead, pushing the advantage up to 14 points. But as they've done all night, the Raptors hung around, refusing to go away with the title within their grasp. For all of the runs from each team, the Warriors once again maintained their six-point lead after the third.
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors hung on to their lead for as long as they could, but with the 3-point shots not falling, the Raptors soon took control. And they did so thanks to their main man, Kawhi Leonard. The "Board Man" put on a show late in the fourth, drilling all sorts of big shots to put the Raptors in front. Then, just as quickly as their lead disappeared, the Warriors jumped back in front after two straight 3s from the Splash Brothers. In the end, despite a few mistakes down the stretch, the Dubs hung on for the huge win.
Here are a few takeaways from the Warriors' big win:
Durant injury hovers over everything
After the Warriors' loss in Game 4, it seemed unlikely that Kevin Durant was going to play in this series. ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that Durant tried to do some things in practice, but it didn't go well "His body isn't ready. The trainers don't believe it, he doesn't believe it." As it turned out, everyone was right. Despite those warning signs, Durant returned to action in Game 5 afterthat his continued absence was causing some frustration around the Warriors. After a strong first quarter, in which he scored 11 points, he re-injured his leg early in the second. He hobbled off the court and left the arena on crutches. After the game, Myers said it was an "Achilles injury," but does not know the severity. The worst-case scenario, obviously, is a torn Achilles, which would send ripple effects across the entire league, let alone the rest of this series.
3-point shooting saves the Warriors
Throughout their entire run, the Warriors have been known for their 3-point shooting prowess. With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson -- two of the greatest shooters the league has ever seen -- leading the way, they would often go on 3-point barrages that broke the hearts and will of opponents. They didn't have quite the depth of shooting this season, though, and especially not once Kevin Durant went down injured. But for one night, when they really needed it most, they put on a vintage performance from behind the arc, going 20-of-42 from downtown. The 20 3s in Game 5 were the most they've made in any game this postseason. It was fitting, too, that they sealed the win with three huge 3s from Thompson and Curry in the final minutes.
Loss spoils potential all-time great closing stretch by Leonard
By his standards, Kawhi Leonard wasn't having a great game through the first three quarters. He had 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists, but was just 4 of 15 from the field, and had turned the ball over five times. In crunch time, though, he did what he's done so many times throughout the playoffs, and put the Raptors on his back. Leonard nearly matched his total from the first three quarters, putting up 12 in the fourth alone, including 10 in a two-minute stretch to give the Raptors a six-point advantage. It was an incredible display from Leonard, and if the Raptors had held on, would have gone down as one of the most clutch closing performances of all-time. Instead, it will be relegated to a footnote in Finals history.
Recap all the news and highlights from Game 5 below:
How to watch Warriors vs. Raptors Game 6
- Date: Thursday, June 13
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- Location: Oracle Arena -- Oakland, California
- TV channel: ABC
- Streaming: WatchESPN
- Live stats: GameTracker
- Odds: Warriors -4 (Over/Under 210.5)