Warriors, minus Kevin Durant, rally for Game 5 win over Raptors



June 10 (UPI) — With their backs against the wall and playing without star forward Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors rallied for a 106-105 win against the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena.

The Warriors, trailing 103-97 with under three minutes left, went on a decisive 9-0 run to take the lead, and sealed the victory after Raptors guard Kyle Lowry‘s buzzer-beater attempt fell short.

“On the one hand, I’m so proud of them. Just the amazing heart and grit they showed,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “On the other hand, just devastated for Kevin. It’s a bizarre feeling that we all have right now. An incredible win, but a horrible loss at the same time.”

Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson carried the load after Durant and key reserve center Kevon Looney each exited the game after aggravating their injuries.

Durant hobbled off the court with 9:46 left in the second quarter. The 7-foot forward aggravated his right lower leg injury after trying to dribble around Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. He didn’t return to the game, finishing with 11 points, two rebounds and a block in 12 minutes.

“Obviously, prayers up to KD. He gave us what he could,” Curry told reporters. “We hope he makes a speedy recovery. He sacrificed his body for us and I just feel bad for him. I got a lot of emotions right now.”

In Durant’s absence, Curry scored a game-high 31 points with eight rebounds and seven assists. Thompson recorded 26 points (9-of-21 shooting), six rebounds and four assists.

Warriors forward Draymond Green tallied 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. DeMarcus Cousins, who saw additional minutes after Looney aggravated his right first costal cartilage non-displaced fracture injury, added 14 points, six boards, one block and a steal off the bench.

Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard caught fire late in the fourth quarter, knocking down four consecutive shots in a span of two minutes to give Toronto a 103-97 lead. Despite the Raptors’ run, the Warriors retook the lead after a string of 3-pointers from Curry and Thompson.

Leonard finished with a team-high 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Lowry registered 18 points, six assists and four rebounds. Veteran center Marc Gasol had 17 points on 4-of-6 shooting with eight boards.

Pascal Siakam was 6-of-15 from the floor with 12 points, four rebounds and two assists. Serge Ibaka had 15 points and six rebounds, and Fred VanVleet added 11 points in 27 minutes off the bench.

Game 6 is Thursday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. The Raptors hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.



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