The Golden State Warriors entered Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals needing a win to stay alive. And despite players re-aggravating injuries throughout the game, the Warriors used a late surge to survive the game, 106-105.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson led the Warriors on a 9-2 run down 2:32 of the game to help them withstand an onslaught of buckets from Kawhi Leonard early in the fourth quarter. Leonard scored 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting in a strong effort to put the two-time champions down six with 3:28 left. But the Splash Brothers weren’t prepared to go down easy — Thompson hit a three, followed by a Curry three, and capped off by a final three from Thompson.
Curry led the way for the Warriors with a game-high 31 points on 10-for-23 shooting to go along with 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Thompson scored 26 points on just 10-for-23 shooting, but shot a scorching hot 7-for-13 from the 3-point line. But the bottom line is that over those final few minutes, the Warriors tightened up their defense, found points on offense, and came away with the win.
Leonard scored 12 of his team-high 26 points in the fourth quarter, but scored just one point on 0-for-3 shooting in the third quarter, which allowed the Warriors to mount a 14-point lead — the Warriors eventually squandered that, but there’s little question that establishing that advantage helped significantly.
The Warriors went into halftime ahead 62-56 margin, but blew a 12-point second quarter lead. Steph Curry led the team into halftime with 23 points on 7-for-11 shooting, including a big three with under a minute left to put some distance between them and the Raptors again. Yet the Warriors continued to squander possessions with turnovers, turning the ball over 9 times in the first half — it only resulted in six Toronto points off turnovers, but the lost possessions hindered their ability to hold a lead.
But the big story of the first half was Kevin Durant re-aggravating his injured calf early in the second quarter with the Warriors up just two possessions.
Kevin Durant (right lower leg injury) will not return to tonight's game. He will get an MRI tomorrow.— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) June 11, 2019
Up until that point, Durant looked relatively fine -- sure you maybe didn’t want to see him out in space guarding Fred Van Vleet and changing directions, but he seemed more than capable of playing. He had scored 11 points in 12 minutes before going down with yet another non-contact calf injury.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 9 of his 14 points in the second quarter, giving the Warriors a jolt after Durant departed the game. But Cousins was also at the center of controversy late in the game — Cousins was whistled for a controversial offensive interference call and then a goal tend with 30 seconds left. Despite it all, the Warriors managed to hang on for a win.
The Warriors will host the Raptors for Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals of Thursday, but do so without Durant and likely without Kevon Looney, who left the game after re-aggravating his injury in the second half.
Golden State center Kevon Looney re-aggravated his right 1st costal cartilage non-displaced fracture injury and will not return tonight.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 11, 2019
The Warriors are gonna need a ton of heart to take another win this series, but have they really given us much reason to doubt them in the last five years?