The Golden State Warriors lost Kevin Durant to injury and fell behind by six points with less than four minutes remaining but still escaped Scotiabank Arena with a 106-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors in Monday’s Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for three straight three-pointers after falling behind by six to give Golden State the lead for good, and Draymond Green tipped away Kyle Lowry’s buzzer-beater that would have given the Raptors the championship.
Curry finished with 31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Thompson added 26 points and seven made triples. It was enough to outlast 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists from Kawhi Leonard.
The Warriors trailed by six with 2:30 to go before going on a 9-0 run that consisted of a pair of Thompson three-pointers and another from Curry.
Golden State overcame two goaltending calls on Cousins in the final 1:59, plus a halfcourt violation on Draymond 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.
Draymond Green’s three-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 three-pointer and followed by a jump shot with 4:46 to play. Leonard hit another three-pointer and added a pull-up jumper to give Toronto a six-point lead with 3:28 to play.
Thompson’s triple trimmed the gap to three with 2:32 left.
Toronto were called for a shot-clock violation, and Curry tied the game at 103 with a three-pointer.
After Leonard’s miss, Thompson came back with a three-pointer with 57.6 seconds remaining, and the Warriors led by three.
Lowry’s lay-up 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 missed his shot as time expired.
The Warriors didn’t have Durant when they won the 2015 title. They didn’t have Durant when they won a record 73 games in the following season. They didn’t have Durant when they overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. And they didn’t have Durant when they swept the Portland Trail Blazers in this year’s Western Conference Finals.
Sure, Iguodala and Shaun Livingston are older than they were as critical members of the pre-Durant Warriors, but Cousins gives them a four-time All-Star down low who wasn’t there either.
What’s more, the pride of the Curry, Thompson and Green trio didn’t look like it was going anywhere even when Golden State’s collective back was against the wall.
Game 6 takes place in Oakland in the early hours of Friday morning live on Sky Sports (2am)
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