The Toronto Raptors' hopes of a first NBA Championship are on hold after a battered and bruised Golden State extended the best-of-seven series with a one-point victory in game five that keeps alive their bid for a third straight title.
Raptors guard Kyle Lowry had a shot to win the championship as time expired (see below), but missed his three-pointer as the Warriors escaped with a 106-105 victory that reduced Toronto's lead in the series to 3-2, with game six on Friday morning (AEST) back in Oakland.
Not yet: Steph Curry celebrates after Kyle Lowry’s last-second miss.Credit:AP
"We just had to find a way," Golden State guard Steph Curry said in a court-side interview after the final buzzer. "We know how hard it is to come back, we gave ourselves a chance, game six is going to be fun."
Warriors superstar Kevin Durant, who had been sidelined with injury since early in Golden State's play-off run, returned to the court and looked good early before appearing to re-injure his calf in the opening minutes of the second quarter, playing no further part in the game.
Durant had 11 points and two rebounds for the Warriors before being helped from the court with 9:46 remaining in the first half. Durant had missed the previous nine games due to a calf strain.
Curry and Kawhi Leonard go head-to-head.Credit:AP
Curry said on the ABC broadcast regarding what Durant's effort meant: "He sacrificed his body for us. I've got a lot of emotions right now."
Kawhi Leonard had 26 points – including 12 in the fourth quarter – and 12 rebounds for the Raptors. Lowry added 18 points, Marc Gasol had 17, Serge Ibaka 15, Pascal Siakam 12 and Fred VanVleet 11.
Golden State overcame two goaltending calls on Cousins in the final 1:59, plus an over-and-back violation on Draymond Green and an offensive foul for a moving screen on Cousins with 14.9 seconds left, setting up the final possession.
But clutch three-pointers from Curry and Klay Thompson down the stretch allowed the visitors to keep alive their chances of a third straight championship.
Game seven, if required, will be back in Toronto on Monday morning (AEST).
Curry led all scorers with 31 points, backed up by Thompson's 26-point night, with the back court duo hitting 12 three-pointers between them.
Durant (No.35) is helped from the court in the first half.Credit:AP
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