NBA Finals: Durant's Done, but Dubs Extend Series on Sheer Force of Will
This was the sorta game that could easily be described in Shakespearian terms.
There were themes of tragedy and loss, dramatic highs and lows, and ultimately, redemption.
But screw that.
Golden State barely outlasted Toronto, 106-105, in a pivotal Game 5 series extender that was a damn streetfight.
Then again, even streetfights can be classics.
The game was riveting for its storylines rather than techniques. The Dubs and Raps combined for 28 turnovers -- 15 and 13, respectively -- and some of them surely had even middle-school PE teachers shaking their heads.
In fact, if there's just one more lazily floating pass, overdribble, or obliviousness to outta-bounds lines, there'll be sixth-graders lining up to declare for the draft.
After being sidelined for roughly a month with a right calf strain, the league's last active SuperSonic posted an incredible first quarter given the circumstances. In 12 minutes of playing time, dude registered:
- 11 points on 3-5 shooting, going 3-3 from the arc and 2-2 from the line,
- Pulling down 2 rebounds and
- Blocking a shot.
However, as a true tragic hero, Durant tempted fate beyond mortal bounds:
Yes, Durant's already made bank to the point that he's secured his family's financial future for generations, but still.
Not sure if the Dubs had a Plan B for this eventuality, but if they did, it was B as in Boogie:
Toss in Draymond Green nearing a triple-double -- 10pts, 10 boards, 8 dimes -- and he could almost be forgiven for an ill-advised tech early in the game.
With a one-point victory in the bank, almost is the key word. Until the game's last shot, that Raptor free-throw coulda been huge.
From Golden State's perspective, then, it was fitting that Green blocked the game's last shot to preserve their comeback.
The performances of Cousins and Green gave Toronto enough to think about so Steph Curry and Klay Thompson could go off in vintage Splash Brothers fashion:
- Curry: 31pts on 10-23 shooting, going 5-14 from deep and 6-6 from the line, and
- Thompson: 26pts on 9-21 shooting, going 7-13 from deep and 1-2 from the line.
When the rubber met the road in an amazing final 2:32 worth of closeout -- which started with Toronto leading, 103-97 -- dudes drained three treys, and Dubs' D only allowed a Kyle Lowry layup to seal the deal.
All this made for quite the modern-day movie in its own right:
To the victors go the headlines, but the hard fact is Toronto could easily have won this game, too.
Kawhi Leonard did his best to take over the fourth quarter, and he had significant help from his teammates. However, they edged the Dubs in not being able to get outta their own way, and in this game, that put paid to wrapping up the title in the here and now.
The fans there are just hoping its also not the final Dubs game.