Raptors vs Warriors Game 6: TV Schedule, Live Stream Guide for 2019 NBA Finals
For the opening 12 minutes of Game 5 in the 2019 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors were the better team for the first time in the series.
Thanks to Kevin Durant’s return to the floor, the Warriors got off to a hot-shooting night, connecting on seven three-point shots to end the first quarter with a six-point lead over the Toronto Raptors.
But after Durant went down early in the second quarter with an apparent Achilles injury, the tide shifted and the Raptors were once again the best team on the floor.
The fact that Golden State was able to gut out the 106-105 win and extend the series was a testament to their championship mettle and resolve.
Now, they’ll host Toronto back at home in Oracle Arena, where fans will get one last chance to see their team in the venue that they’ve played in for decades.
The Warriors will most likely be overcome with emotion, as they not only look to force a Game 7, but also play with the weight of the loss of Durant, who put his body on the line to try and help his team achieve an epic comeback for the three-peat.
Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors have already won the two previous games at Oracle in this series, so they won’t be afraid to go for the final win to seal their first-ever championship in front of what will likely be a raucous sellout crowd.
If Golden State wants to end its historic era in Oakland on a high note, they’ll need Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to both have incredible shooting performances and a solid contribution from Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins and everyone off the bench.
It’s projected to be a dogfight and a game that fans likely won’t soon forget.
Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors | TOR 3-2 | 9 p.m. | ABC | WatchESPN
It would appear that the whole basketball universe is against Golden State.
Toronto has had full control of this series with their superior length, size, youth, talent and defense.
Then there’s the fact that the Warriors have not been able to remain healthy.
Leonard has been hampered throughout the postseason, but he’s been able to push through and be dominant in every round.
Golden State has not been as fortunate.
Thompson couldn’t go for Game 3 due to a hamstring injury and Kevon Looney has been braving through a chest injury that should have shut him down for the series.
Andre Iguodala has also been laboring through a calf injury, though not as serious as Durant’s initially was.
So the Warriors have had to truly employ their “Strength in Numbers” motto, but it’s increasingly looking like it just won’t be enough.
Golden State has had problems putting points on the board and the Raptors’ swarming defense is a major reason why.
They will look to get the ball out of Curry and Thompson’s hands and force the others to beat them.
And if Looney can’t go, it will be that much harder for Curry and Thompson to get solid screens to get open looks.
The Warriors also have been careless with the ball, committing an inordinate amount of turnovers that give the Raptors opportunities to get out in transition.
All things considered, it looks like Golden State has very few paths to victory on Thursday night.
But there’s something to be said about the extra motivation they’ll have to honor their fans with a proper goodbye and honor their fallen teammate who sacrificed it all by playing with championship pride and leaving everything they have out on the floor.
“We do it for Kevin,” Thompson told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ann Killion. “We do it for K. You think of him every time you dive for a loose ball or go for a rebound. I know how bad he wants to be out there.”
The oddsmakers have the Warriors winning Game 6, but the reality is that they will have to play a near perfect game on both sides of the ball for that to happen.
Get the popcorn ready because one way or another, somebody’s celebrating in the Oracle when the final buzzer sounds.