Warriors Show Heart Under Duress and Force Game 6
The Golden State Warriors delivered one of the great inspirational performances in NBA Finals history coming back from six points down with three minutes to go to defeat the Toronto Raptors 106-105 on Monday night.
The Warriors once again faced adversity after witnessing Kevin Durant who made his first appearance in the NBA Finals reinjury his lower right leg. The injury appears to be even more severe than the calf injury that kept him out for a little over a month.
“I don’t believe there’s anybody to blame, …but if you have to you can blame me.” the statement made by Warriors general manager, Bob Myers. Myers showed raw emotion and could not hold back tears while addressing the press core after the game.
The heartbreak of watching Durant go down galvanized the two-time defending champions. The team received strong performances from Stephen Curry who scored 31 points and Klay Thompson who added 26 points including the game-sealing three-pointer late that put the Warriors ahead for good.
Draymond Green once again flirted with a triple-double scoring 10 points and falling two assist shy of the mark. Green’s most significant contribution came from his block of Kyle Lowry’s last second three-point attempt which would have given the Raptors the championship. “He got a piece of it, that’s what great defenders do,” Lowry said.
Durant played 12 of the first 14 minutes going 3-for-3 from the arc and scoring 11 points. Durant’s impact on the game allowed the Warriors to stay ahead for the majority of the game despite going down early in the second quarter.
The Raptors looked to have control of the game late in the fourth quarter as Kawhi Leonard made back-to-back three-pointers to seize the momentum for the Raptors. Leonard finished with 26 points, and the Raptors had six players in double figures.
Toronto, however, will look at this game as a wasted opportunity as they now have to make the trip across North America to face Golden State on Thursday night in Game 6. The game will mark the final NBA game at Oracle Arena as the Warriors will move to Chase Center in San Francisco starting next season.
The Raptors should expect to face an emotional scene at Oracle Arena under the circumstances. The Warriors were all emotionally shaken from the injury to Durant and will have a few days to reset themselves and attempt to focus on how to defeat the Raptors without their two-time Finals MVP and force a Game 7.
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