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Kevin Durant dropped the ball, skipped quickly in pain and dropped to the court Monday night with a sad but fundamental lesson on display for all us: That’s why you never second-guess injury decisions.
The NBA Finals are making one last trip to Oracle Arena. For the Toronto Raptors, it’s a second shot at a first championship. For the Golden State Warriors, it’ll be a night to play for a fallen teammate and the fans they’re leaving behind. Game 6 is Thursday and the stakes could hardly be higher. Toronto will bring a 3-2 lead into the building and try again to win a title that seemed so close in Game 5 after Kevin Durant was injured.
The scoreboard said Golden State 106, Toronto 105. The reality was that both teams lost. It’s almost unimaginable: an NBA Finals game where neither team felt like celebrating afterward. That was the bizarre reality on Monday night, after the Warriors staved off elimination by rallying in the final moments to beat the Raptors and send this series back to Oracle Arena for Game 6 – on a night when Kevin Durant’s season came to an end.
Stephen Curry scored 31 points, Klay Thompson added 26 and they led a season-saving surge that gave the Golden State Warriors a 106-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
The Toronto Raptors can become the first team representing Canada to win the NBA championship by beating the Golden State Warriors at home in Game 5 on Monday night.
The Golden State Warriors have made it clear all along: They knew this formidable roster wouldn’t stay together forever. Now, if the two-time defending champs can’t rally back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, it could be the end of an era, perhaps a dynasty dismantled. Yet these Warriors have come from behind before, beating Oklahoma City in the 2016 Western Conference finals after trailing 3-1. The next step of this latest test comes in Game 5 in Toronto.
Not long before the postseason started Toronto coach Nick Nurse learned all that he really needed to know about Kawhi Leonard. The conversation was about the 82-game regular season. Leonard shrugged and described those games as “just practice.” That’s when Nurse knew Leonard was going to have another gear in the playoffs. Now the Raptors are one game away from winning the NBA title. They lead Golden State 3-1, with Game 5 on Monday night.
Kevin Durant limped off the floor at Oracle Arena a month ago – Game 5 of the second round – with what the team called a mild calf strain. It’s apparently the most severe “mild” calf strain in the history of injuries, because he hasn’t played since and there’s no way of knowing if that’s going to change on Monday.
Kawhi Leonard’s hot hand is sending the Raptors home to Toronto on the cusp of a startling upset for Canada.
Toronto’s Danny Green couldn’t make a shot for about two weeks going into the NBA Finals. Seems like forever ago now. The finals are a happy stage for Green, who has been in the title-deciding series three times now and has put up big numbers in each of those trips. The trend has continued in this series against Golden State, and Green’s six 3-pointers were a huge factor in the Raptors’ Game 3 win to take a 2-1 series lead.
Two-time reigning finals MVP Kevin Durant remains out, however. Durant strained his right calf on May 8 in the Western Conference semifinals. Toronto leads the best-of-seven finals 2-1.
Toronto coach Nick Nurse plays to the beats of his own drum. And that’s not even one of the instruments that he’s trying to master with these days. Nurse says he’s not much of a musician yet. His Raptors are making plenty of sweet music so far in the NBA Finals. Toronto leads Golden State 2-1 in the series, which resumes Friday.
The Golden State Warriors’ executive who shoved Kyle Lowry has been banned for one-year and fined $500,000 by the NBA. The Toronto Raptors guard wanted Mark Stevens ousted from the league. Stevens is a Warriors’ investor and a member of the team’s executive board. Lowry said Stevens “shouldn’t be a part of our league.”
Toronto fended off a playoff career-high 47 points from Stephen Curry and beat the Golden State Warriors 123-109 on Wednesday night to take a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
40 years ago, a team composed of young, unheralded players came together to win the 1979 NBA Finals, bringing Seattle its first and only NBA title.
Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway spent two seasons as members of “Run TMC” and six years as teammates at Oracle Arena, back when it was called the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena. The nostalgia is flooding back this week. The Golden State Warriors’ era in Oakland is ending. Only two or three games remain, starting with Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. When Mullin and Hardaway got together this week, they couldn’t help but reflect on what the building means.
Toronto star Kawhi Leonard has more than a few things on his mind these days. He’ll be a free agent in a few weeks and will decide where he wants to play next season. He’s apparently headed to federal court to solve a disagreement with Nike. He’s clearly dealing with something that isn’t right in his lower body. And there’s the NBA Finals. Leonard and the Toronto Raptors take on the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday in Game 3, and he says that’s where his attention is.
Kevin Durant still isn’t ready to return for the Golden State Warriors as he works back from a strained right calf he suffered during the Western Conference semifinals.
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson has a mild strain in his left hamstring that forced him out of Game 2 in the NBA Finals and he is listed as questionable for Game 3 against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
The Toronto Raptors feel good mentally, and they are certainly in better shape physically than the Golden State Warriors.