How the Warriors Survived Game 5 of the N.B.A. Finals


Kawhi Leonard absolutely took over the game. After starting 0 of 4 from 3-point range, he hit a 3-pointer to give Toronto its first lead of the second half and ended up going on a personal 10-2 run against the Warriors, putting his team up, 103-97.

Leonard is up to 26 points and 12 rebounds.

The run included two huge 3-pointers from Leonard, and other than a nice hook shot from Draymond Green, the dominance has been almost entirely unanswered with Stephen Curry missing a pair of contested 3-pointers.

The Raptors took a timeout with 3:05 remaining and the finals seemingly in their hands if they can simply close out a Warriors team that is down two key players after having started the game at full health.

The Warriors were forced to take another timeout, with Steve Kerr furious on the sideline, after Kawhi Leonard appeared to get away with a travel on a pass to Norm Powell for a wide-open dunk. Regardless of Kerr’s anger, the dunk got the Raptors to 95-93 with 5:34 remaining, with this game seeming very winnable for Toronto.

Shortly before the Powell dunk, Draymond Green had gotten Golden State’s lead back to four points with a 3-pointer that got him to 8 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists for the game. He has not asserted himself much in terms of scoring, and he’s still carrying four fouls, but his hitting a shot could open up some space on ensuing possessions for his team’s other shooters.

Leonard, meanwhile, is still having a rough shooting night, going 5 of 18 from the field and 0 of 4 from 3-point range, but he has 16 points and 10 rebounds and has shown repeatedly that he can outmuscle Golden State’s small lineup under the basket. With Kevon Looney out for the remainder of the game after reinjuring his chest, that strength advantage is huge.

Stephen Curry and Draymond Green were on the bench to start the fourth — as was Kawhi Leonard — but Golden State, using a lineup with very little shooting, fought to a 6-6 stalemate in those minutes, with Quinn Cook hitting a 3-pointer on one possession and assisting on a Jordan Bell layup.



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