The Golden State Warriors aren’t letting go of the NBA title just yet.
With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson shooting and Draymond Green swatting, the champions found a way to win even after a gut-wrenching loss.
Curry scored 31 points, Thompson added 26 and they led a season-saving surge long after Kevin Durant was injured again to give the Warriors a 106-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Devastated by the loss of Durant, the All-Stars that the Warriors had left made sure there was celebration along with their sadness, pulling out what Green thought had to be the greatest win during their run to five straight NBA Finals.
”When you’re down six with a couple minutes to go in an elimination for these guys to win a championship, we could have thrown in the towel. We could have folded, but we didn’t,” Green said. ”I said it before: I’ve never seen this group fold. And that stands true still.”
Curry and Thompson, nicknamed the Splash Brothers, combined for three straight 3-pointers in the closing minutes after Toronto had taken a six-point lead with under 3 1/2 minutes remaining in front of a raucous, red-shirted crowd.
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”Even going down six with three minutes left, their ball, we didn’t panic,” Thompson said. ”We just do what we do.”
The Warriors lost 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 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 party that would have stretched coast to coast in Canada.
Golden State is the only team to lose a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, when Cleveland came back to win in 2016.
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