TORONTO -- They’re taking it back to Oakland.
Knowing they would be without Kevin Durant over the final 34 minutes, the Warriors showed plenty of pluck Monday night in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and held on for a 106-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 57 points, and the Warriors shot 20-of-42 from beyond the arc -- with a Thompson triple with 57.6 seconds remaining putting the Warriors ahead for good.
After Durant went down in the second quarter and Kevon Looney (aggravating his chest injury) joined him in the third quarter, the Warriors spent the rest of the evening trying to fight off the relentless Raptors. Toronto took a brief fourth-quarter lead before the Warriors closed it out.
Here are three takeaways from a game in which the Warriors showed an abundance of grit:
The Return of Durant
Durant’s return to the lineup after a 32-day absence due to a strained right calf was going wonderfully -- until he re-injured his calf with the Warriors leading 39-34 and 9:46 remaining in the second quarter.
Guarded by Toronto big man Serge Ibaka on the perimeter, Durant made a move to his left, landing with a lot of force on his right foot and immediately limped away holding his calf area. He was assisted into the locker room and did not return.
Durant left the arena on crutches and in a walking boot. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI test on Tuesday in the Bay Area.
The crowd initially rejoiced at Durant’s misfortune before Ibaka (a former teammate in Oklahoma City) patted KD on the head and urged the crowd to tone it down, at which point they cheered Durant’s exit.
Durant’s presence changed the entire dynamic of the Warriors at both ends, but his offense was surprisingly sharp. He scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting, including 3-of-3 from deep, and grabbed two rebounds. He played 12 minutes.
They overcame Curry's cool second half
Stephen Curry, clearly benefitting from Durant’s return, had a terrific first half, scoring 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-5 from deep and 6-of-6 from the line. He looked energized and appeared to be headed for a big night.
Well, no. Curry never was able to find any lasting rhythm in the second half, scoring only eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-9 beyond the arc.
He, however, did produce eight assists and seven rebounds, playing 41 minutes and finishing minus-2.
Thompson’s 14 second-half points, including four 3-pointers helped offset Curry’s slide.
Boogie bounces back
After playing well in Game 2, DeMarcus Cousins struggled mightily in Games 3 and 4 in Oakland and was languishing on the bench when he entered the game to replace Andrew Bogut with 9:46 remaining in the second quarter.
The move, which corresponded with Durant’s exit, undoubtedly was made in an effort to provide some of the offense lost without KD.
Cousins delivered, scoring nine points in six first-half minutes and also was solid in the second half.
The big man totaled 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, adding six rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. He was minus-4 over 20 minutes.