Golden State Warriors 106-105 Toronto Raptors: NBA finals Game 5 – as it happened

Last modified: 04: 07 AM GMT+0

Durant injury update

Warriors GM Bob Myers has confirmed that Kevin Durant has an achilles injury. The severity of the injury isn’t clear but it almost certainly ends KD’s series.

Updated

Final thoughts

What more can you say about this Finals? At every step of the way it has confounded expectations and refused to follow any sort of pattern. What we have left is a series of questions: Can the Raptors come back mentally after whiffing on a golden opportunity to seal their first championship in front of their home crowd? Can the Warriors keep going despite their continuing injury luck, most likely without even the hope of Durant returning to play series savior? Who knows. All that’s certain now is that it’s a 3-2 series. There will be a Game 6 will be on Thursday in Oracle Arena, whether that’s the end point or just another stop on route a Game 7 remains to be seen.

The Guardian will continue to have coverage of the NBA Finals but this will conclude today’s liveblog. Make sure you read our game report linked below. Thanks to everybody for following along with us, particularly all those who contributed along the way. Ciao!

Updated

I hate to do this to the guy, but for posterity it’s probably worthwhile to record the fact that Kyle Lowry’s attempted game-winner will not win over anybody skill skeptical about his postseason play.

WHAT A FINISH.

The final shot is off, and it's headed back to Oracle. pic.twitter.com/PDSoD0O1N4

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 11, 2019

Steve Kerr attempts to summarize just what happened in the last few hours;

“An incredible win, and a horrible loss at the same time.”

Steve Kerr explains the emotions surrounding the Warriors Game 5 win and Kevin Durant’s injury. pic.twitter.com/xsJbLCDYfA

— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 11, 2019

Email from Peter Oh:

We the west.

A gutty emotional win for the Warriors. There’s something to be said about Finals experience, it seems.

Meanwhile, although disappointed, the Raptors have to still feel good about their chances. They almost just stole a game here. They have two more chances to win, including a Game 7 on the road. The Warriors have to worry about not having Durant and possibly Looney.

I am still processing what just happened here. The Warriors almost lost control of things here, but they managed to come back late from a six point deficit with less than two minutes left in the game. Of course, they will likely have to win the next two games without Durant, who looks to be quite seriously hurt after his comeback attempt was cut short.

Warriors force Game 6

There will be a Game 6 and one last game in Oracle Arena! Wow!

Warriors win!

Warriors 106-105 Raptors, FINAL

Cousins gets called for a moving screen! Offensive turnover! This is disastrous for Golden State. The Raptors have a chance to win it right here. Lowry gets off a shot and… it’s NO GOOD. The Warriors survive Game 5!

Warriors 106-105 Raptors, 29.9, 4th quarter

Gasol misses out of the Raptors timeout, Cousins gets a key rebound but Draymond Green gets called for a back court violation. This is getting crazy. Raptors have another chance here, and they get the benefit of a goal-tend call on Cousins. That could be big.

Warriors 106-103 Raptors, 56.6, 4th quarter

Raptors turn it over. The Warriors have the ball back and it’s still a one-possession game.

Not anymore. Curry hits a long three and Thompson hits one on the next Golden State possession and they have the lead! Wow!

Warriors 100-103 Raptors, 1:59, 4th quarter

The ruling on the court is confirmed. Huge call that.

Warriors 100-103 Raptors, 1:59, 4th quarter

And an offensive interference call wipes away a DeMarcus Cousins tip-in. They’re going to review it however.

Warriors 100-103 Raptors, 2:20, 4th quarter

Leonard actually misses out of the timeout, pretty badly. Good defense by the Warriors, but can they get back on offense? They can. Thompson hits a long three pointer.

Warriors 97-103 Raptors, 3:05, 4th quarter

Warriors are just out of sorts and Leonard is unstoppable now. He hits a pull-up jumper and the Raptors extend the lead. Curry misses yet again, VanVleet gets the rebound. The Raptors slow things down and finally take a timeout. The crowd is as loud as its ever been which feels not scientifically possible.

Updated

Warriors 97-101 Raptors, 3:54, 4th quarter

Curry misses, Leonard hits another shot. Oh no, he’s awake. Draymond cuts the lead back to a single point with a quick basket.

Oh and Leonard has hit another three-pointer. The tide feels like its turned

Warriors 95-96 Raptors, 5:09, 4th quarter

And there goes the lead. Iguodala misses a shot and Leonard hits a super-long three.

Email from Thomas Cook:

I’m watching from Australia and I follow the Raptors. Would you put Ibaka as the most efficient player these finals ??

There’s a good argument for it, he’s definitely made the most coming out of the bench. Obviously, Kawhi Leonard has been the series MVP so far, but Ibaka will deserve some major props for his contributions.

Warriors 95-93 Raptors, 5:36, 4th quarter

Norman Powell with a dunk and the Warriors take a timeout. Things feel on the brink for them. In fact, they’ve felt on the brink much of this quarter.

Warriors 95-91 Raptors, 6:32, 4th quarter

Draymond Green with a three-pointer the Warriors desperately needed. Leonard misses for Toronto and the Warriors get the ball back but Draymond gets called for traveling.

Warriors 92-91 Raptors, 6:54, 4th quarter

Kevon Looney will not be returning to this game, so the news just keeps getting worse for the Warriors. It doesn’t get much better when the basketball starts up again as Curry gets his shot blocked and, at the other end, Leonard gets a rebound and deposits into the basket to a huge cheer.

Updated

@HunterFelt is it too late in the game to call a warriors win by 25? because i'm doing it now

— 運がいい (@besthouseintown) June 11, 2019

Now this? This might be a jinx.

Email from Jean Wan:

I’ve never watched an NBA game in my life, and now that the bandwagon has arrived and I’m watching, I’m cursing the Raptors!!

I’m a bad, bad Canadian.

Well, don’t speak so soon. It’s just a one possession game now.

Warriors 92-89 Raptors, 8:13, 4th quarter

Ibaka with a slam! Warriors with a timeout! What a Finals for Ibaka.

Warriors 92-87 Raptors, 8:13, 4th quarter

Warriors turn it over and Kyle Lowry hits a three-pointer and all the momentum is with Canada at the moment.

Never mind Curry just scored, every time they have an answer it seems.

Warriors 90-84 Raptors, 9:26, 4th quarter

Quinn Cook gets a three-pointer, Lowry hits a jumper on the other end. Hey look it’s Quinn Cook again he finds Jordan Bell (remember him?) for a quick score to respond to the Toronto response.

Warriors 85-82 Raptors, 10:11, 4th quarter

Normal Powell, who is in the game by the way, finds Ibaka for an alley-oop. On the other end, Cousins misses a three. Ibaka scores again on the other end and it’s a one-possession game again.

Warriors 85-78 Raptors, 11:30, 4th quarter

Raptors don’t score on their possession. Cousins gets to the line on the other end, he misses the first free throw but finally makes one on his fourth attempt of the game.

Email from “reneaflunoy67”

Subject: Raptors

I want them to win it all! Kawhi is a beast!

Leonard’s going to have step things up from that third quarter if the Raptors are going to come back to win this one. I have confidence that he will.

Warriors 84-78 Raptors, end of the 3rd quarter

Ibaka tips in a Siakam shot and Leonard makes one of two free throws. Iguodala just misses on the Warriors end. Raptors walk it back but turn it over on their possession. Draymond Green misses at the end of the third quarter but the Warriors remain in front.

Warriors 84-75 Raptors, 1:52, 3rd quarter

Warriors have the ball out of the timeout. Green finds Cousins all by himself under the basket and that’s as easy as two-points as you’re going to get for Golden State.

How the Warriors are managing to stay in the lead:

Threes, late 3rd quarter: Klay Thompson 5 of 10, Raptors 5 of 24.

— InsideHoops.com NBA (@InsideHoops) June 11, 2019

This sounds like worst case scenario.

Durant just left on crutches with a walking boot.

— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 11, 2019

Warriors 82-75 Raptors, 2:12, 3rd quarter

Lowry gets knocked down but completes a layup. Curry misses a wide-open three. When Ibaka loses a ball out of bounds, the Warriors decide that now’s the time for a timeout.

Warriors 82-73 Raptors, 2:50, 3rd quarter

The three-point shooting is what’s keeping the Warriors ahead despite Toronto’s constant runs. A goal-tend call increases the Warriors lead.

Warriors 80-73 Raptors, 3:21, 3rd quarter

Thompson misses a three, VanVleet hits a three. Maybe a time for a Warriors timeout?

Nope, but Gasol does pick up a non-shooting foul. That’s his fourth. The Warriors turn it over, they need to stop doing that, and Lowry banks one home. That’s a 10 point run… but Thompson stops it with a three.

Warriors 77-68 Raptors, 4:50, 3rd quarter

Thompson fouls Gasol. He hits the first of two free throws, as Cousins replace a pained Looney. Gasol then goes ahead and makes the second. He’s up to 16 points.

Warriors 77-66 Raptors, 5:19, 3rd quarter

Iguodala blocks Lowry’s shot on the release, but Golden State can’t capitalize on offense. On the other end, Lowry gets called on a loose ball foul which puts Looney to the ground. Looney grimaces but stays in the game. Gasol picks up one as well. Looney looks okay at the end of the possession as he scores to increase the Warriors lead.

But, hey, VanVleet nails a three-pointer that beats the buzzer for Toronto.

@HunterFelt Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau has a bet with House Leader Pelosi on the NBA final. Guess the President thinks the Justin who has left 14 phone messages is that Bieber guy .

— Dexter Haven Tanaka (@HavenTanaka) June 11, 2019

Warriors 75-63 Raptors, 7:00, 3rd quarter

Well there’s another three-pointer, this time thanks to Iguodala. Thompson scores on a fast break and the Raptors are going to wisely expend a timeout.

Out of the break we get the umpteenth “Old Town Road” of the NBA Finals.

Kevin Durant out for game; will have MRI tomorrow

Warriors 70-63 Raptors, 7:44, 3rd quarter

Kevin Durant walks off the court with the trainer after his injury
Kevin Durant walks off the court with the trainer after his injury. Photograph: Larry W Smith/EPA

Siakam with a score and foul, he misses the free throw.

Doris Burke comes in with another Durant update. He won’t return this game (which was pretty obvious the second the injury happened) and has a “lower leg injury” and will have a MRI tomorrow. That’s all we get for now.

Curry gets another three-pointer for Golden State, they could use as many of those as possible with Durant gone for good.

Updated

Warriors 67-61 Raptors, 9:16, 3rd quarter

Lowry starts the scoring for the Raptors with a sweet spin move. VanVleet hits a corner three to cut the Warriors lead down some more.

Warriors 67-56 Raptors, 10:43, 3rd quarter

Iguodala, right by the basket, squeezes through defenders and starts off the second half scoring. VanVleet takes a long three that doesn’t connect. Thompson makes yet another three-pointer on the Warriors end and the lead’s back to double-digits.

Warriors 62-56 Raptors, 12:00, 3rd quarter

And the second half begins! Let’s see if we’ll have a Game 6 or not.

Warriors are ~53% to win in live betting markets -- basically a toss-up. https://t.co/Or0HzdXfdm

— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) June 11, 2019

Despite the Warriors lead, that sounds about right. I wonder if there will be any deflation in the Golden State locker room considering the Durant situation.

Email from Clare McConnell:

I suspect you are an American and have therefore not noticed how biased the refs have been up till the last few minutes. Canadians have to suspect that the no doubt American refs don’t want the trophy to leave the good old US of A

I haven’t noticed the refs overtly favoring one team or the other here, to be honest. I will say that the only conspiracy I believe as far as officiating is that they are always for longer playoff series. If there’s any sort of bias it’s not based on basketball patriotism.

Halftime thoughts

Instead of going straight to commercial, the broadcast goes to Doris Burke who has an update from the locker room. There’s no official update on Durant, but the report is ominous with everybody giving Durant “space” to process the injury. It’s really a shame since he clearly did his best to return, possibly before he was really ready, and managed to play quite well to start the game.

Also, as the broadcast point out, he is a free agent.

End of first-half: Warriors 62-56 Raptors

And Siakam slices the lead back down to one-point for a handful of seconds. Curry quiets the crowd with a trademark long-distancer. Iggy then tips in a Curry shot to extend the Warriors lead before the end of the first half.

Updated

Warriors 57-54 Raptors, 1:09, 2nd quarter

The Warriors turn the ball over again and Siakam scores and after all that, the Raptors have taken advantage of Golden State’s hiccups and whittled this back down to a one-possession game.

Warriors 57-52 Raptors, 1:51, 2nd quarter

Iguodala puts Gasol on the line immediately afterwards though, and Gasol goes 2-for-2. Gasol then almost gets a big three-pointer but it just doesn’t come in. On the other end, Thompson gets fouled, that’s the third on Lowry, he makes one of two.

And Leonard finds the basket on the other end.

Warriors 56-48 Raptors, 3:15, 2nd quarter

The Warriors need some points to stabilize this game, so Curry creates contact and gets two free throws which he—of course—nails.

Updated

Warriors 54-48 Raptors, 3:28, 2nd quarter

Cousins draws a foul and gets to the free-throw line. He’s helping the Warriors keep ahead… except he misses both free throws to the delight of the Raptors crowd. On the other end, Gasol his a three-pointer. Just a disastrous sequence for the Warriors, who know it and call a timeout.

Warriors 54-45 Raptors, 4:03, 2nd quarter

Cousins tips in a missed Draymond Green three, he’s doing a fantastic job here. Draymond Green then fouls Kyle Lowry, he can’t believe it and he shows no hesitation in complaining. That will mean three free throws for Toronto and he simply can’t be doing that given the circumstances. It’s his sixth technical of the playoffs, which means he’s one away from a suspension. Not that it’ll matter much if the Warriors can’t pull off a win here.

Leonard takes and makes the technical. Lowry makes one of two free throws.

Warriors 52-43 Raptors, 5:20, 2nd quarter

Leonard scores and then gets fouled by Iguodala. He makes both free throws and cuts the Warriors lead into single-digits.

Warriors 52-39 Raptors, 6:05, 2nd quarter

Leonard with a fantastic block on Thompson! The Warriors still have the ball though. However, Lowry steals the ball clean from Cousins and lays it up on the other end. Curry hits a three on the other end and picks up a foul. He gets the free throw and that’s a four-point play.

“Achilles” is trending on Twitter, which is not exactly good news for Kevin Durant although we haven’t heard from actual medical staff, just the doctors on Twitter.

Warriors 48-37 Raptors, 7:04, 2nd quarter

Boogie is getting down now. This time around, it’s with his passing, he finds Draymond Green for an assist. Toronto takes a timeout.

Warriors 46-37 Raptors, 7:26, 2nd quarter

And a three-pointer! My stars, this is exactly the lift that the Warriors need here. Siakam, however, puts an end to that Golden State run with a layup.

Warriors 43-35 Raptors, 8:42, 2nd quarter

Ibaka is on the line, having gotten fouled by Shaun Livingston. He makes one of two free throws. Cousins, coming in the game with Durant out. He makes two straight baskets.

Kevin Durant reinjures leg

Warriors 39-34 Raptors, 9:46, 2nd quarter

Kevin Durant goes to the floor with a leg injury
Kevin Durant goes to the floor with a leg injury. Photograph: Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

Lowry makes his first basket of the game. On the next play, Durant hits the floor on the same leg that was injured. That’s just a brutal, brutal turn for the Warriors considering how well he had been playing to start the game. The Raptors fans cheer, which is not a very good look, and the Warriors take a necessary timeout.

Updated

Warriors 39-32, Raptors 10:12, 2nd quarter

Thompson hits the Warriors’ eighth three-pointer and the Warriors are definitely playing Warriors basketball again. It definitely feels like just the availability of Durant has given them a spark as far as confidence.

Bogut, as is his wont, fouls Ibaka and puts him on the line. He makes both of his free throws.

Updated

Warriors 36-30 Raptors, 11:03, 2nd quarter

Thompson with a tall jumper to start the scoring in the second. Lowry misses for Toronto but Ibaka gets the rebound and the basket.

Updated

Warriors 34-28 Raptors, 11:39, 2nd quarter

Durant misses the first shot of the second quarter. Andrew Bogut is in rather than DeMarcus Cousins, whose poor play in Game 4 has apparently shifted him deeper onto the bench.

Updated

Here we go! KD is back but at what capacity? If the Raptors can close this with the full Hamptons 5 lineup, it will be sweeter. Thank you again for the coverage, @HunterFelthttps://t.co/Zrtw3uNDS2

— Not_a_bot (@closedopenmind) June 11, 2019

You’re welcome. It’s true that the victory will mean more if Durant plays at least one game. Of course, Warriors fans will always say “if only we had KD for the entire series.” Such is the nature of fandom.

Warriors 34-28, end of the 1st quarter

VanVleet gets two free throws for Toronto. On the other end, Iguodala finds Green for a miss but Curry manages to get the ball for the score. The Raptors can’t get a final shot off and that’ll do it for the first quarter.

Warriors 32-26 Raptors, 31.5, 1st quarter

Ibaka’s time to foul. He puts Durant on the line where he makes both free throws AND he makes a huge three-pointers. Okay my prediction about his efficiency is not looking so hot.

Warriors 27-26 Raptors, 1:56, 1st quarter

Leonard gets to line, give the foul to Kevon Looney, he makes one of two free throws. Draymond gets called for a foul next, sort of a ticky-tack call this, he puts the Game 4 hero Serge Ibaka on the line and Ibaka makes it a one-point game.

Warriors 27-23 Raptors, 2:45, 1st quarter

A foul on Fred VanVleet gives the ball to the Warriors and a wide-open Draymond Green makes the Warriors’ sixth three-pointer.

Warriors 24-23 Raptors, 3:33, 1st quarter

You’ll never believe this but Curry made his third free throw as well. Durant is back in.

Warriors 23-23 Raptors, 3:33, 1st quarter

This feels very different than the brick-fest we got last game. After Pascal Siakam scores to briefly give the Raptors the lead, Curry gets fouled on the three-point line. He makes his first two free throws before the Raptors take their first timeout of the game.

Warriors 21-21 Raptors, 4:36, 1st quarter

Kawhi Leonard has been activated, he gets to the basket and he gets fouled. With the free throw make, he ties up the game. Durant, meanwhile, is out of the game, with Shaun Livingston playing for him.

Gasol briefly gives the Raptors a lead but Steph Curry promptly ties it.

Updated

Warriors 19-16 Raptors, 6:48, 1st quarter

Danny Green promptly makes it a one-possession game.

Updated

Warriors 19-14 Raptors, 6:48, 1st quarter

Gasol makes the second of his two free throws out of the timeout.

Warriors 19-12 Raptors, 7:11, 1st quarter

Thompson fouls Gasol, who picks up his first free throw. With that, the Warriors take their first timeout.

Warriors 19-12 Raptors, 7:23, 1st quarter

Leonard tips in his own blocked shot to cut down the Warriors lead buy Draymond Green finds Curry for an easy layup. Danny Green scores on the other end. The Warriors can’t miss however, Klay Thompson drills a three-pointer.

And Siakam gets his first basket of the night. This is some great offense. Thompson makes the Warriors’ fifth-consecutive three-pointer.

Warriors 11-6 Raptors, 9:37, 1st quarter

Durant then picks up his first foul, putting Gasol on the line. He makes one of two free throws, but the Raptors handle the rebound and Gasol hits a three pointer. Well that could have gone better for Golden State.

And Kevin Durant answers with a three. Well then, maybe there’s no rust.

Warriors 8-2 Raptors, 10:02, 1st quarter

Curry with a layup. Kevin Durant with a three pointer. Warriors coming out strong.

Warriors 3-2 Raptors, 11:08, 1st quarter

Raptors get the ball to start things off but get called for travelling. Curry hits a three on the other end for the first scoring play of the game. Gasol scores on the other end as a counter.

Opening Tip

Warriors 0-0 Raptors, 12:00, 1st quarter

And, for the possible final time this season, we’re off!

Toronto Raptors starters

Kyle Lowry – G

Danny Green – G

Kawhi Leonard – F

Pascal Siakam – f

Marc Gasol - C

Golden State Warriors starters

Warriors playing Draymond Green at the center position with Durant back.

Steph Curry – G

Klay Thompson – G

Kevin Durant – F

Andre Iguodala – F

Draymond Green - C

I’m always a sucker for a good metaphor:

@HunterFelt Is Durant at 75 per cent a good deal? Sure. As good as a Ferrari with one wheel missing.

— Dexter Haven Tanaka (@HavenTanaka) June 11, 2019

National anthems

Oh wow, the US got Monica. That’s absolutely appealing to my particular age group. I think she did a remarkable job.

As far as “O Canada,” Toronto has brought in Doug Tranquada, the Raptors’ traditional singer, comes in and starts the anthem and the rest of the crowd jumps in to finish it to remarkable effect.

Email from Mila Pili:

Why do we have to predict? Just watch and see what happens, almost time.

This is probably the most sensible approach to watching sports. I, of course, reject the entire concept of watching sports as a reasonable person, but I respect the position.

Email from Robbie Mulvena:

Greetings from New Zealand Hunter

Us Kiwis love our Basketball, and I Am completely Blown away every year at the level of play on display in the NBA,

But having been an OKC Fan and going through the heartbreak of losing KD to the warriors who he lost too

In the WCF, I can only hope Kawhi and the Raptors disrupt his three peat hopes

Toronto Baby!

I’m starting to think that the Raptors are the sentimental favorites here. Just maybe.

NBA Countdown is on and I’m now reminded that Paul Pierce had the Raptors winning. Now, there’s a good chance that he was completely right. There might be some sort of apocalyptic event coming. Just a head’s up.

Kevin Durant just finished up a 15ish minute pregame workout, looked pretty good. Closed it with this spin 3 and then a dunk — the two times he probably tested calf most. pic.twitter.com/QNUueqTI2V

— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 11, 2019

Okay, I will admit Durant looks pretty okay here. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong.

Email from Peter Oh:

Hi Hunter,

Greetings from California. Full disclosure: I want the Warriors to win. Pet peeve: Toronto’s “We the North” rallying cry. I get that Canada is to the north of the US, but looking at a world map it’s clear to see that Toronto is in the extreme south of Canada, so “We the North” is a bit rich, isn’t it? It’d be like a London team facing a Paris team in a final, and the London fans claiming We the North. What would the folks in Liverpool and Newcastle (never mind in Scotland) say?!

This is a wonderfully petty reason to root against a team and I am 100% for it.

Predictions

Alright let’s get this over with. I thought the Warriors would definitely tie this series up in Friday’s Game 4. That, clearly, didn’t happen. It’s obvious that without Durant in the lineup, Golden State is just a different team. If the Raptors didn’t go on two long scoring droughts in Game 2, to start the second half and down the stretch in the fourth quarter, this one could already be over.

The question is whether or not Durant will have enough to make much of a difference. I don’t think he will, it’s just too much to ask from him after such a long time on the shelf. I think this one’s over and the Raptors manage to pull off a win. Now, I always am hoping for a long, competitive Finals so I hope that I’m wrong here.

If you have your own take on tonight, please feel free to send your prediction on how things will go tonight, either via email (the address is hunter.felt.freelance@theguardian.com) or tweet them (to @HunterFelt).

Email from Damian Burns:

Alright Hunter, on the tarmac at Montreal Airport on a flight to Toronto and onward to Dublin for a family wedding, but with a 3 hour layover from 9pm in Toronto. All seemed perfect, watching the game in Toronto before flying on. Pilot’s just announced we have an hour delay. Gutted.

I think this was an Alanis Morissette lyric, which I guess is appropriate since the game is in Canada.

Kevin Durant will be playing

Obviously the story of the game is going to be Kevin Durant. According to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, he looked fine at workouts and they don’t think it’s going to be a risk: “He responded well and, yeah, he’s going to play.” He will be starting and will be without a minutes restriction.

“He’s going to play tonight and it’ll be great to have him back,” Coach Steve Kerr told me of Kevin Durant minutes ago. There will be no minutes restriction, but his playing time will depend on how he feels. #NBAFinals

— Kristen Ledlow (@KristenLedlow) June 10, 2019

It’s safe to say Raptors are a little excited about being one victory away from the NBA title. And basketball fever extends far beyond Toronto.

Canadian Armed Forces members pose with the Toronto Raptors slogan “We The North” at Canadian Forces Station Alert, Nunavut
Canadian Armed Forces members pose with the Toronto Raptors slogan “We The North” at Canadian Forces Station Alert, Nunavut. Photograph: Reuters
Basketball is played just before midnight in Rankin Inlet, about 400km south of the Arctic Circle on Sunday night
Basketball is played just before midnight in Rankin Inlet, about 400km south of the Arctic Circle on Sunday night. Photograph: Reuters

Preamble

Is this the end of the Warriors dynasty? That’s the question here in Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors. With their Game 4 win at Oracle Arena, the Raptors took a commanding 3-1 lead in the series and now the game returns to Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena for what could be the final game of the NBA season and a symbolic conclusion to the Warriors’ reign as the league’s unstoppable juggernaut.

To put things in the starkest terms possible, the Warriors would need to win three straight (starting today) in order to pull off a comeback. which funnily enough means they have to take inspiration from the last team who did that: LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who pulled off that feat against (you guessed it) the Golden State Warriors in 2016. In the role of James might be Kevin Durant, who has been out for weeks with a calf injury but will attempt to play today. It’s good news for Golden State, but there’s a very real concern about how much they can expect from Durant given that he’s coming back from a serious injury and is immediately being thrown into a literal must-win game.

Meanwhile, the Raptors will be battling in front of a home crowd with the perfect opportunity to win their first championship. In fact, they’re playing for an entire country, as no Canadian team has ever won an NBA championship (the Grizzlies didn’t spend enough time in Vancouver to get a decent shot). The beyond stoic Kawhi Leonard, who may be headed towards an entirely different team this offseason, has a chance to finalize a playoff performance of the ages here if the Raptors manage to end this in the next couple of hours. They certainly don’t want to let the Warriors back into the series. The next game would be back at Oracle Arena for a final game in that venue’s history and then would come a Game 7 where anything can happen.

So, shortly we will get be celebrating a Raptors championship or the start of a memorable Warriors comeback. That sounds like it will be fun no matter. If you want to contribute to the liveblog feel free to send your thoughts here either via email (to hunter.felt.freelance@theguardian.com or tweet them here (to @HunterFelt) and we’ll include them along the way. We will have Opening Tip some time after 9:00pm EST, but we’ll be back well before then. It’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena!

Hunter will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s how Toronto has been handling the NBA finals:

When Fitriya Hussein was given free tickets to a Toronto Raptorsbasketball game years ago in middle school, she was drawn in by the intensity of play; the strategy, speed and excitement. She instantly became a fan. But with that mantle came years of heartbreak, disappointment and frustration that sports fans around the world know all too well.

Now, after Friday’s victory over the reigning champion Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals, the Raptors are a single win away from their first-ever championship. And basketball fans in Toronto are experiencing a feeling that has been absent for more than two decades: hope.

You can read the full report below:

Contributor

Hunter Felt

The GuardianTramp

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06, Jun, 2019 @4:04 AM

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Toronto Raptors beat Golden State Warriors in Game 6 to win NBA finals – as it happened
Live updates: Kawhi Leonard and his teammates beat the reigning champions to become the first non-US team to win the NBA title

Hunter Felt

14, Jun, 2019 @4:26 AM

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NBA finals: Pascal Siakam soars as Raptors beat Warriors in Game 1
Toronto struck the first blow of the finals as Pascal Siakam helped the Raptors to victory over the Warriors in Game 1 of the series

Joshua Kloke at Scotiabank Arena, Toronto

31, May, 2019 @3:37 AM

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NBA finals: Warriors beat Raptors in Game 5 thriller to keep series alive
The Toronto Raptors had a great chance to secure their first-ever NBA title until a late surge from the Golden State Warriors decided the game

Joshua Kloke at Scotiabank Arena, Toronto

11, Jun, 2019 @4:05 AM

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Warriors level NBA finals after third-quarter surge against Raptors in Game 2
The Golden State Warriors once again came back from a sizable deficit when it mattered the most as they leveled the series against the Toronto Raptors

Joshua Kloke at Scotiabank Arena, Toronto

03, Jun, 2019 @2:49 AM

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The Toronto Raptors achieved a rare feat: intimidating the Warriors
When Golden State go on a roll, opponents tend to panic. But Kawhi Leonard and Co kept their cool in a fevered Oracle Arena on Wednesday night

Oliver Connolly

06, Jun, 2019 @3:02 PM

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NBA finals: Curry's 47 points in vain as Raptors beat limping Warriors in Game 3
The Raptors did what so many teams have struggled to do before them: beat the Warriors in their own backyard

Melissa Rohlin at Oracle Arena, Oakland

06, Jun, 2019 @3:51 AM