TORONTO (Reuters) – 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.
Jun 10, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) go for a loose ball during the second quarter in game five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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 defense, cutting the Raptors advantage to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
The two-time defending champions were initially energized by the return of Durant, who came back to the starting lineup after missing more than a month with a right calf strain.
Durant made a trio of three pointers and scored 11 points but appeared to reinjure the leg in the second quarter while pivoting with the ball.
He had to be helped back to the locker room by Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and the team’s medical staff and 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.”
The Warriors later said Durant had injured his Achilles and would have an MRI scan on Tuesday.
After trailing for most of the game, the Raptors took the lead in the fourth quarter as Kawhi Leonard helped put the franchise on the brink of its first championship.
The Raptors led by six with about three 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.
Game Six is on Thursday in Oakland.
Reporting by Frank Pingue, Writing by Rory Carroll; Editing by Peter Rutherford