Golden State Warriors have successfully kept their pursuit of a third straight NBA title alive with a 106-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors in game five. The Raptors, seeking a first title, had led the seven-match series 3-1, an advantage that has only been overturned once in Finals history. Stephen Curry scored 31 points for the Warriors, who lost the returning Kevin Durant to injury in the second quarter.
Durant suffered a right Achilles tendon injury, despite having just returned to the court from a calf injury. The 30-year-old, who was named 2017 and 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player and is Golden State's top play-off scorer with 34.2 points a game, left the venue on crutches and will have a scan. “It wasn’t pretty in the second half but we made the shots”, Curry says. He described the game as a “do or die”. ”On the one hand I'm so proud of them, just the amazing heart and grit they showed, and on the other I'm just devastated for Kevin," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Kawhi Leonard was the top scorer for Toronto with 26 points, including a back-to-back three-pointer, to give his side a lead of six (103-97) with just over three minutes remaining in the game. Unfortunately for the Raptors, Thompson and Curry each sank three-pointers to haul Golden State back into the game in the fourth and the latter scored another to keep them ahead with less than a minute on the clock. Head coach of Raptors, Nick Nurse, said: "In this day and age, up six with three minutes to go doesn't mean a whole lot. I felt good at that point. We just needed to make a couple more plays.”
The Raptors, however, have a second chance to clinch the title in Oakland on Friday.