NBA Finals: Golden State Warriors lose Kevin Durant but stave off elimination with Game 5 win over Toronto Raptors
Warriors hold off late charge to seal 106-105 victory thanks to 20 three pointers and improved defence
The Toronto Raptors blew a late six-point lead and with it their first chance to seal a maiden NBA championship, as the Golden State Warriors overcame the loss of All Star forward Kevin Durant to win Game Five 106-105 on Monday.
The Warriors, who are bidding for a third straight title, led for most of the game in Toronto and secured the win behind 20 three pointers and some gritty defence, cutting the Raptors advantage to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
The Raptors will have another shot at winning the title in Game 6 in Oakland on Thursday.
The two-time defending champions were initially energised by the return of Durant, who came back to the starting lineup after missing more than a month with a calf strain.
Durant made a trio of three pointers and scored 11 points but injured his leg in the second quarter while pivoting with the ball.
He was helped back to the locker room by Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and the team's medical staff. Durant was later seen leaving the arena on crutches.
"Prayers up to KD," said Curry, who led all scorers with 31 points. "He gave us what he could and we hope he makes a speedy recovery ... He sacrificed his body for us and I just feel bad for him.
"I've got a lot of emotions right now. It's crazy."
A tearful Warriors general manager Bob Myers told reporters that Durant had injured his Achilles and would have an MRI scan on Tuesday.
"I just told the team I didn't know what to say because on the one hand, I'm so proud of them – just the amazing heart and grit that they showed – and on the other, I'm just devastated for Kevin," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
"So it's a bizarre feeling that we all have right now. An incredible win and a horrible loss at the same time."
Curry scored 31 points while Thompson added 26 as the Warriors pulled one back in the series, forcing a sixth game on Thursday at Oakland, California, with game seven in Toronto on Sunday, if needed.
"Do or die," Curry said. "It wasn't pretty in the second half but we just made the shots."
Durant's long-awaited return ended with the All-Star forward being helped off the court.
"You could kind of just feel the life just go right out of us," Warriors forward Draymond Green said. "But to Steph's credit, he rallied the troops.
"He talked to everybody, went around the huddle and just told everybody to stay locked in and do this for Kevin. And we did a good job of coming together."
Warriors back-up centre Kevon Looney also left the game after he aggravated the chest injury he picked up in Game 2.
After trailing for most of the game, the Raptors took the lead in the fourth quarter as Kawhi Leonard helped put them on the brink of its first championship.
The Raptors led by six with two-and-a-half minutes to play but the Warriors finished the game on a 9-2 run that included three pointers by Curry and Klay Thompson to extend the series.
The Warriors ratcheted up their defence on the final possession as Raptors' guard Kyle Lowry misfired on a corner three pointer at the buzzer that was well contested by Draymond Green.
The win means the Warriors will play one last game at Oracle Arena before they move to their new home at the Chase Center in San Francisco next season.
Updated: June 11, 2019 12:44 PM