War­riors stay alive

Sur­vive Rap­tors with just a point in Game 5, but lose KD anew to in­jury

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Top Sports -

TORONTO — The Golden State War­riors aren’t let­ting go of the NBA ti­tle just yet.

Stephen Curry scored 31 points, Klay Thomp­son added 26 and they led a sea­son-sav­ing surge that gave the War­riors a 106-105 vic­tory over the Toronto Rap­tors on Mon­day night in Game 5 of the NBA Fi­nals.

The Splash Brothers com­bined for three straight 3-point­ers in the clos­ing min­utes af­ter Toronto had taken a six­point lead with un­der 3½ min­utes re­main­ing in front of a rau­cous, red­shirted crowd.

“They’re amaz­ing. They’re amaz­ing com­peti­tors, great shoot­ers,” War­riors coach Steve Kerr said.

The War­riors lost Kevin Du­rant barely a quar­ter af­ter get­ting him back but got the win, cut­ting Toronto’s lead to 3-2 and send­ing the series back to Or­a­cle Arena for Game 6 on Thurs­day.

Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points for the Rap­tors but couldn’t get the fi­nal shot, which went to Kyle Lowry and was blocked by Dray­mond Green.

The two-time de­fend­ing cham­pion War­riors were min­utes away from their ti­tle reign end­ing, hav­ing lost Du­rant and a 14-point lead dur­ing an emo­tion­ally ex­haust­ing game. They had con­trolled Leonard for three quar­ters, but he scored 10 straight Toronto points in the fourth and the Rap­tors were close to their first cham­pi­onship and a celebratio­n that would have stretched coast to coast in Canada.

But even af­ter ev­ery­thing the War­riors had lost, they still had two of the best perime­ter shoot­ers in the world on the floor. Thomp­son hit a 3, and Curry fol­lowed with one to tie it at 103. Golden State got it back to Thomp­son and the Rap­tors lost sight of him just long enough for the tiebreak­ing shot with 57 sec­onds to go.

Toronto cut it to one when Kyle Lowry was cred­ited with a bas­ket and the Rap­tors got a fi­nal chance when DeMar­cus Cousins was called for an il­le­gal screen. Leonard had the ball but the War­riors forced him to pass and it ended up in the cor­ner to Lowry, who was way off as the buzzer sounded.

Cousins had 14 points for the War­riors and Green fin­ished with 10 points, 10 re­bounds and eight as­sists.

Golden State is the only team to lose a 3-1 lead in the NBA Fi­nals, when Cleve­land came back to win in 2016.

Now the War­riors have a chance to pull off the feat them­selves, but it

to have held all four ma­jors in two dif­fer­ent sea­sons. But it was not meant to be. Nadal nab­bing his recordex­tend­ing 12th French Open gave him a to­tal of 18 Slams, just two short now of Roger Fed­erer’s 20.

There’s the US Open and Wim­ble­don left for 2019.

They’re still months away but if Nadal is be­ing tipped this early to win both, swell. But first, let the King of Clay sa­vor his mo­ment. He earned it—again.

Segue to Toronto’s ti­tle­clinch­ing bid on Tues­day.

It must hap­pen or the Rap­tors might find them­selves in dire straits af­ter a Game 5 loss.

A re­turn to Oak­land for Game 6 could give the War­riors the push to level it at 3-3 and, God knows, what will hap­pen next in a Game 7? Any­body’s ball­game.

Ev­ery­thing’s go­ing Toronto’s way with its 3-1 edge as 33 pre­vi­ous teams ahead by 3-1 went on to win.

Only in 2016 did a team down 1-3 rally to pre­vail 4-3: Cleve­land over, yes, Golden State.

Will his­tory re­peat it­self? Let’s see.

STEPHEN Curry #30 of the Golden State War­riors re­acts against the Toronto Rap­tors in the sec­ond half dur­ing Game Five of the 2019 NBA Fi­nals at Sco­tia­bank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Getty Im­ages)

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