The Splash Brothers answered a 10-0 run by Kawhi Leonard with a 9-0 burst to lift Golden State to a stunning 106-105 win in Monday’s Game 5 at Toronto. The Warriors won outright as one-point road favorites, resulting in a push for most gamblers that placed their action in the last four hours of betting.
The 211 combined points dropped “under” the 216-point total. The “under” has prevailed in back-to-back contests after the “over” hit in the first three games of the NBA Finals.
Golden State’s hopes of winning a third consecutive NBA championship were hanging by a thread when Nick Nurse called a timeout with 3:05 remaining. Leonard’s explosion had given Toronto a 103-97 advantage, but he cooled off with a miss coming out of the timeout thanks to an excellent contest from Klay Thompson.
After a Steph Curry rebound, Thompson drained a 3-pointer to the slice the deficit in half with 2:29 left. Kyle Lowry missed a clean look from beyond the arc on the right wing, but DeMarcus Cousins’ putback dunk at the other end was waved off for basket interference.
Lowry committed a turnover with 1:34 remaining, giving the Warriors a chance to pull even. They did just that when Curry buried a triple to make it 103-103.
Following a miss from Leonard, Thompson used a ball fake to create room and knocked home a 3-ball. Just like that, a six-point deficit was a 3-point lead with 56.6 seconds remaining.
Toronto’s Marc Gasol missed a shot in the lane after the Raptors used a timeout, but Draymond Green committed an unfathomable turnover to give the Raptors another chance. Lowry got a quick bucket in the paint to make it 106-105 with 29.9 seconds remaining.
After Cousins was whistled for a moving screen, Toronto had a chance to win its first NBA championship. Steve Kerr brought a double team to Leonard on the final possession, forcing him to give up the ball. Fred VanVleet took Leonard’s pass and penetrated before kicking to Lowry in the corner. Green worked his way around a Gasol screen and did a remarkable job of getting a piece of Lowry’s potential series winner.
Despite the thrilling victory to stave off elimination, it was a bittersweet win for Golden State. According to General Manager Bob Myers, Kevin Durant suffered an Achilles injury. As he fought tears in an emotional postgame press conference, Myers said the team would know more after an MRI is taken Tuesday morning. However, it was clear the organization fears that Durant has a torn Achilles that would probably sideline him for the next 9-12 months.
Durant played for the first time in the series after missing 10 games in a row. In 12 minutes, he scored 11 points and grabbed two rebounds. Durant hit all three of his attempts from downtown, but he pulled up lame on a drive to the basket early in the second quarter.
Curry finished with 31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Thompson produced 26 points, six rebounds and four assists compared to one turnover. Cousins gave the Warriors a monster lift in 20 minutes of playing time in a reserve role. He contributed 14 points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot. Green flirted with another triple-double, coming up just short with 10 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one block.
Leonard had 26 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Lowry finished with 18 points, six assists, four boards, two blocks and one steal, while Gasol had 17 points and eight rebounds. Serge Ibaka turned in another solid performance with 15 points and six boards, while Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet were also in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
As of early Tuesday morning, most books had Golden State installed as a four-point home favorite for Thursday’s Game 6 at Oracle Arena. The total was 210.5 points, while the Raptors were +150 on the money line.
By 10:00 a.m. Eastern this morning, most spots had the Warriors at -3.5 with the total up to 211. As of Tuesday night, most books had Kerr’s team listed as a three-point “chalk’ with a total of 211.5.
The updated series price at the Westgate SuperBook had Toronto as a -310 favorite, leaving the Warriors as +250 underdogs.
Golden State’s Kevon Looney is listed as “questionable” for Game 6. Looney missed the second half of Game 2, all of Game 3 and the fourth quarter of Game 5 with a collarbone injury.
ABC will have Thursday’s Game 6 telecast at 9:07 p.m. Eastern.