On Monday night the biggest match of both the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors season took place. This was a do or die clash that had it all from Kevin Durant returning, to the splash brothers letting loose and the Raptors choking.
The atmosphere was electric, the crowd knew they were on the brink of witnessing history but that was not the case.
Warriors Show Why They’re Champions
The Raptors were seeking a a first title ever coming into Game Five of the NBA Finals. Their hopes were high as this was an advantage that has only been overturned once in history. But the Warriors showed the heart of champions, they rallied to secure a narrow win 106-105 to force a Game Six. They will return back to the Oracle Arena for Game Six knowing they now have home court advantage and could tie up the series. The only issue they gave is that they might not come back as strong in Game Six because Kevin Durant will be missing once again.
There was a lot of mixed emotions coming into Game Five, especially surrounding the return of Durant who missed nine of the previous playoff games due to a calf injury. But his hopes of playing were short lived as he suffered a suspected ankle injury. He re-injured himself which sparked a roar from the crowd but left many of the players on both sides unhappy. The Raptors players had to help encourage their crowd to quiet down and and to focus on the fact that Durant was still trying to help his side come back, even though it is evident that is he was not 100% fit.
The Splash Brothers Shine
The Warriors showed that they are good enough to beat the Raptors without Durant. This was mainly because of the Splash brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. They let loose from three point range and were just hitting tough shots. Curry ended on 31 points and Klay ended on 26, they showed once again that they have what it takes and why they aren’t the best pair of three point shooters in the league.
Will The Raptors Choke Again?
The Raptors have a second chance to try and win their first ever NBA title on Friday but they’ll have to try and do so away from home. But could also prove to be beneficial as they have beat the Warriors twice at home. Game Five surprisingly was a quiet game for the Raptors main star Kawhi Leonard for the most part. He only let loose in the fourth quarter when he tried to “Klaw” his team back into the game by scoring 14 of the teams first 16 points in the fourth quarter. But that was in vein when they were down by one point and he couldn’t take the last shot so instead he gave it to Kyle Lowry who’s shot ended up behind the backboard. Leonard ended with a hard fought 26 points despite being double teamed for most of the game.
Still Anyone’s Guess
The Warriors might have gained some belief knowing they have another chance to come back in the series but it’s also another opportunity for them to lose their title to a Raptors side who are quite determined to take it off them. This has been a fantastic series thus far so whoever ends up winning the title definitely deserves to be called champions.