Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney re-aggravated previous injuries, Kawhi Leonard went on a 10-0 run by himself and the Golden State Warriors were on the brink of elimination trailing 103-97 with less than three and a half minutes to play.
Yet, despite all the adversity they went up against the defending champions found a way to keep the series alive winning Game 5 of the Finals 106-105 and will play one last game at Oracle Arena.
Stephen Curry poured in 31 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists while his Splash Brother Klay Thompson added 26 points. As a team, the Warriors made 20 three-pointers compared to just eight for the Toronto Raptors.
Durant started the game as Golden State looked as good as they have all series. The offense was clicking and they hit their first five threes of the night. KD hit back-to-back triples to give them an 11-6 advantage and had 11 first-quarter points in his return.
Mostly used as a floor spacer in the opening quarter, Durant went down while trying to take Serge Ibaka off the dribble in the second, but as soon as he planted his foot the scene wasn’t pretty.
Raptors’ fans disturbingly cheered after he walked off the court in pain until Toronto’s players disagreed with the home crowd’s actions.
Following the injury, the Warriors picked up where they left off. DeMarcus Cousins entered the game for the first time all night and quickly scored seven points in just over a minute. He finished with 14 points. Golden State closed out the half with five consecutive points and a 62-56 lead.
The Warriors came out of halftime strong, going on a 9-0 run to extend the lead to 77-63. However, they lost Looney for the rest of the game in the middle of the third quarter as he re-injured himself.
Toronto came clawing back for a chance a title in the fourth quarter. Golden State fended them off for a brief moment responding with three-pointers, but the Leonard went on an absurd individual stretch.
Leonard made it 92-91 on a pull-up jumper with under seven minutes to go. Following a Draymond Green trey, Norman Powell’s wide open dunk cut it back to a one-possession game. Other than a Green layup, Leonard went on to score 10 consecutive points to try to put the series to rest. Oddly enough, Raptors’ head coach Nick Nurse called a timeout despite the momentum they had built.
That backfired. Curry and Thompson combined for three straight series to retake a three-point lead and despite a slew of blunders from the Warriors they were able to pull it out after Kyle Lowry missed the game-winning shot.
The Warriors now head back to The Bay down 3-2 in the series and back to where they started in terms of healthy bodies. KD is likely out for the rest of the series after suffering a serious Achilles injury. On the plus side, Looney could be ready for Game 6 Thursday.
Yet, there was some serious concern for Durant as multiple teammates and colleagues were visibly emotional discussing his injury.
Golden State will have to carry on without their star forward for good this time as they look to tie this series up back at home.