Durant exits, but Warriors edge past Toronto Raptors to keep NBA title hopes alive
Clutch 3-pointers by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson enabled the defending champion Golden State Warriors to edge Toronto 106-105 on Monday and sustain their hopes of winning a third consecutive NBA Finals. But any joy from the victory was dimmed by a right Achilles injury to Kevin Durant only 12 minutes into his first game after being sidelined for a month by a right calf injury.
Despite seeing the returning Kevin Durant exit in the second quarter due to a right Achilles injury and Kevon Looney bow out later in the game after he aggravated a shoulder injury, the Warriors found a way to defeat the Toronto Raptors 106-105 Monday night in Game 5.
Toronto's Kyle Lowry missed a 3-point attempt at the final buzzer, with his shot striking the side of the backboard.
Lowry said Draymond Green got a hand to the ball on his shot.
"He blocked it," Lowry said. "I'm not going to miss it. He got a little piece of it."
The Raptors still lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 with Game 6 to be played Thursday in Oakland, Calif.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr went through a full range of emotions after a game in which his team came back from a six-point deficit with 3:28 remaining in the fourth quarter.
"I just told the team I didn't know what to say because on the one hand I'm proud of them, just the amazing heart and grit that they showed," Kerr said. "And, on the other, I'm just devastated for Kevin. So it's a bizarre feeling that we all have right now. An incredible win and a horrible loss at the same time."
Bob Myers, the Warriors' president of basketball operations, confirmed that Durant has an Achilles injury.
"I don't know the extent of it," Myers said. "He'll have a MRI tomorrow."
Durant had 11 points, two rebounds and a blocked shot before being helped from the court with 9:46 to play in the first half. He had missed the previous nine games with a right calf strain.
"I love KD, I love watching him play," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said, "When anybody goes down, you're saddened by it, but when one of the great players like that goes down, it's almost shocking."
Curry finished with 31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, though he hit just 10 of 23 shots from the floor and 5 of 14 from 3-point range.
"Missed shots can't kill your confidence," Curry said. "I'm going to get my legs ready for Game 6 and take those same shots. I have whole lot (to give). We know how hard it is. We gave ourselves a chance. It's doing to be a dogfight for 48 minutes. We'll be ready."
Thompson scored 26 points, and DeMarcus Cousins added 14 points for Golden State. Green had 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Curry said on the ABC broadcast regarding what Durant's effort meant, "He sacrificed his body for us. I've got a lot of emotions right now."
Thompson added, "We do it for Kevin. We do it for K. We know -- I can tell you this -- he wants us to compete at the highest level, and we'll think of him every time we step on the hardwood."
Kawhi Leonard had 26 points -- 12 in the fourth quarter -- and 12 rebounds for the Raptors. Lowry added 18 points, Marc Gasol had 17, Serge Ibaka 15, Pascal Siakam 12 and Fred VanVleet 11.
The Warriors trailed by six before going on a late 9-0 run that consisted of a pair of Thompson 3-pointers and another from Curry.
Golden State overcame two goaltending calls on Cousins in the final 1:59, plus an over-and-back violation on Green and an offensive foul for a moving screen on Cousins with 14.9 seconds left, setting up the final possession.
The Warriors took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter after leading by as many as 14 in the third.
The Raptors cut the deficit to three points on Ibaka's dunk with eight minutes to play, and Leonard's put-back trimmed the margin to one.
Green's 3-pointer had Golden State ahead by four, but Norman Powell's running dunk cut the deficit to two with 5:36 to go.
Toronto took a three-point lead on Leonard's 3-pointer followed by a jump shot with 4:46 to play. Leonard hit another 3-pointer and added a pullup jumper to give Toronto a six-point lead with 3:28 left.
Thompson's 3-pointer trimmed the gap to three with 2:32 left.
Toronto was called for a shot-clock violation, and Curry tied the game at 103 with a 3-pointer. After Leonard's miss, Thompson came back with a 3-pointer and the Warriors led by three.
Lowry's layup cut the lead to one point with 29.9 seconds to play.
Cousins was called for an offensive foul with 15.7 seconds to play, giving Toronto a chance, but Lowry's shot failed to drop as time expired.