The Toronto Raptors will have to wait until Thursday for another chance to win the NBA Finals after the Golden State Warriors eked out a Game 5 win Monday night.
The Warriors defeated the Raptors 106-105 at Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto.
Stephen Curry led the team for scoring with 31 points followed by Klay Thompson with 26.
“Steph and Klay hit back to back threes I believe. We got stops. Our defence was bending down the stretch, but we didn’t break,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters after the game.
Thompson praised his the composure of the team in the remaining minutes of Game 5.
“I’m very proud of the way everyone fought tonight – even going down six with three minutes left, their ball. We didn’t panic. We just do what we do,” he said.
The Warriors had a large lead when it came to three-pointers, getting 20 shots compared to the Raptors’ eight. Kyle Lowry, who scored 18 points for the Raptors, said this is an area the team needs to focus on during Game 6.
“[Curry and Thompson] got off way too many threes. You give them that many threes, they’re going to make some,” he said.
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said he was proud of the team’s performance Monday night and said no one should count them out going forward.
“They played their guts out. Kept on fighting and put themselves in a position to win it,” he said.
“Our team has reacted all year long great to bad losses. I would say it takes a lot to beat this team and it took a hell of a lot of blows and a heck of a lot of balls bouncing the wrong way in the last couple of minutes for us to come out on the wrong side of it tonight.”
Coming into the game, many eyes were on Warriors forward Kevin Durant. He returned to the Golden State Warriors lineup Monday night after being sidelined with a calf muscle injury for over a month.
However, he had to be helped out during the second quarter of the game after it appeared he injured his calf. Durant was seen leaving the arena on crutches and in a boot. He was able to score 11 points.
Bob Myers, general manager of the Warriors, fought back tears during a post-game update. He said Durant suffered an Achilles tendon, but added a MRI scan is needed to determine the full scope of the injury.
“We felt good about the process. He was cleared to play tonight – that was a collaborative decision … I don’t believe there’s anybody to blame, but I understand this world. And if you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department,” he said.
“Kevin Durant loves to play basketball and the people who questioned whether he wanted to get back to this team were wrong.”
Thompson said the team will be thinking of Durant going forward, and noted Durant’s injury makes Monday’s win bittersweet.
“To be honest, it’s very deflating. It’s hard to even celebrate this win,” he said.
Kerr said he appreciated when a few of the Raptors players tried to quiet the crowd after they began cheering just after Durant’s injury happened.
“I think [they] understood how serious it was … there was just a couple of minutes there where it all seemed so eerie and strange. I took a little bit for both teams to collect themselves,” he said.
Golden State led for most of the first half and Toronto only had the lead after going up by two for 53 seconds in the second quarter. The Warriors, who at one point led by 14 points, continued to dominate in the third quarter. Kawhi Leonard came alive in the fourth. With just over five minutes to go, he sunk a three-pointer and 20 seconds later another two.
Monday’s win comes after the Raptors took a 3-1 series lead against the Warriors with a 105-92 Game 4 win at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Friday.
Meanwhile, outside of Scotiabank Arena thousands of fans attended Jurassic Park and surrounding streets outside the arena to cheer on the Raptors — many of whom waited hours in the rain. Other cities in Ontario, such as Mississauga, Barrie, Kitchener, Burlington, and in Canada have been holding similar viewing parties.
Game 6 is set for 9 p.m. ET on Thursday in Oakland.
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