Read the Guardian’s game report for Game 6 of the NBA Finals here:
That was an eventful NBA Finals. While it would have been nicer to see how the series would have played out had the Warriors not lost Kevin Durant in Game 5 or if Klay Thompson didn’t get hurt here in Game 6, it’s hard to feel cheated when you have two great teams battling like they did throughout all six of these unpredictable games.
The NBA Finals is over, as thus so is this liveblog, but stay tuned for continued NBA coverage here at the Guardian. Thanks to everybody for following along with us throughout the Finals especially those who contributed their own thoughts (sorry I couldn’t use all of your emails and tweets tonight, it got kind of hectic as you may have noticed). Ciao!
One more shot of Jurassic Park, where the Raptors fans gather in Toronto. It looks like a huge party, which is very much should be right now.
Meanwhile, somehow Kawhi Leonard wasn’t an unanimous MVP. I love you Hubie Brown, but Fred VanVleet was the clear runner-up in this contest.
Email from Stephen Hodson:
All’s well that ends well, and how sweet it is! Raptors come through in the clutch. Okay, so a few cliches I’ll admit, but what a great game!
There are a lot of happy fans out there, both Canadians and Americans who were instinctively rooting against the Warriors.
Pascal Siakam is up next. The 2019 Most Improved Player shoe-in seemed to have the answer whenever the Warriors looked like they were going to go all Warriors on them.
Marc Gasol gets a few words in to wrap things up before they start to pose for some pictures.
“I’ll think about that later,” Leonard says about his free agency plans.
Doris Burke brings on Kyle Lowry, who has been here for all these seasons where the Raptors have been postseason disappointments. You have to feel happy for him (if you weren’t rooting for the Warriors).
“We brought it home!” Lowry shouts.
“They just told me to come out and play basketball,” Leonard says with an almost blank expression. This is the most Kawhi Leonard speech ever.
Kawhi Leonard wins MVP
Bill Russell is on hand to witness Adam Silver handing out the MVP Award... and this will surprise no one... to Kawhi Leonard.
Raptors president Masai Ujiri gets some time here, obviously his decision to trade for Kawhi Leonard despite the fact that it could have been a one-year rental (and could still be) is a big reason why they managed to pull of their first championship.
Trophy ceremony time!
Adam Silver comes on to give the Larry O’Brien trophy to the Raptors. He gives his props to the Warriors and says farewell to Oracle Arena.
“Basketball has come full circle in Canada,” he says noting that it was invented by Dr. James Naismith.
Now the question is: wither the Warriors dynasty? The offseason rumors have had Kevin Durant leaving in free agency, and even if he re-signs with the Warriors, it’s not certain when he’ll come back from his Achilles injury.
The Warriors will also have to re-sign Klay Thompson. Could this have been this version of the Warriors’ last chance at a championship?
This is the biggest upset of the game: not the Raptors winning in six. The fact that Kawhi Leonard is not, in fact, an android:
While it was unfortunately overshadowed by injuries, most notably Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury, there’s no question that the Raptors went on a run for the ages. There’s no doubt that they deserved this victory (and it’s not like the Warriors didn’t take advantage of other teams’ injuries during some of their Finals run).
It’s been great for the sport of basketball in Canada as well.
A surreal scene as the Raptors celebrate on the court while the Warriors fans give one last “Warriors” chant to their beloved team for one last time at Oracle Arena.
Raptors win the NBA Finals!
Raptors 114-110 Warriors, FINAL
Leonard makes both free throws to finally end this one.
Raptors 112-110 Warriors, 0.0, 4th quarter
Green makes the technical and all the Raptors have to do is to make the inbounds play.
And there’s a foul call on Golden State. My god game, just end.
Raptors 111-110 Warriors, 0.9 4th quarter
Raptors will have the chance to make a technical foul and they will have possession afterwards, so this one is effectively over unless something crazy happens. Of course a million crazy things have happened here.
Raptors 111-110 Warriors, 0.9 4th quarter
Curry takes a three pointer……. And he misses. There’s a scramble for the ball. A technical foul gets called on Golden State for attempting to take a timeout that they don’t have.
Raptors 111-110 Warriors, 9.6, 4th quarter
Raptors are out of timeouts here. Out of the timeout… Danny Green throws it away! Oh wow! The Warriors call a timeout and they very much have a chance to take the final shot of the game. Wow.
Raptors 111-110 Warriors, 18.5, 4th quarter
I’d say that Raptors timeout has worked perfectly, Siakam makes a driving layup past Green. It’s a three-point game once again. The Raptors trip up Curry to put him on the line, he makes both free throws to make it a one-point game. Raptors take another timeout.
THIS HAS BEEN A FUN GAME
Raptors 109-108 Warriors, 37.7, 4th quarter
Leonard misses a three. The Warriors have a chance here and Cousins hits a layup. The Raptors take a timeout, will it work better for Nick Nurse this time than in Game 5?
Raptors 109-106 Warriors, 1:23, 4th quarter
Cousins gets to the line, but only makes one of two.
Raptors 109-105 Warriors, 1:30, 4th quarter
Cousins fouls Siakam. He misses the first one, but makes the second.
Raptors 108-105 Warriors, 1:55, 4th quarter
Lowry makes a shot that takes a bounce… and falls in.
Draymond Green hits a big time three pointer to make it a one-possession game.
Raptors 106-102 Warriors, 2:49, 4th quarter
Draymond Green with a bad pass, turnovers are killing the Warriors. VanVleet shoots… it’s no good but Ibaka gets the rebound and lays it in. DeMarcus Cousins draws up a foul on the other end fighting for a rebound. Crucial free throws here.
He makes one of two.
Raptors 104-101 Warriors, 3:44, 4th quarter
Curry with a three attempt… it’s no good.
VanVleet with a three attempt… AND THAT’S RIGHT ON LINE. Raptors lead. Oracle goes silent for a second and the Warriors take a timeout. Is that the final momentum shift of the series? It feels like the biggest shot so far.
Raptors 101-101 Warriors, 4:15, 4th quarter
The Raptors have several chances to take the lead but can’t convert. Iguodala scores on the other end, that’s 22 points for him. He’s the non-Splash Brother that they needed to step up this time around.
Oh man, Danny Green loses the ball and the Raptors take advantage. Marc Gasol gets to the line with a chance to tie it… and he does.
Raptors 99-99 Warriors, 5:29, 4th quarter
Lowry finds Siakam for a layup, one which Curry scores on the other end.
Livingston fouls VanVleet at the three point line, he’s going to get three free throws with a chance to tie the game. He makes all three.
I don’t know, if the Raptors lose tonight and Thompson is still injured, I still like their chances at home for Game 7.
But man, it’s going to be frustrating if they can’t finish things off here.
Raptors 94-97 Warriors, 6:34, 4th quarter
VanVleet with another long-distance shot. He has ben beyond clutch. It briefly gives the Raptors a lead but Green gets credited for a tip shot. Lowry turns over the ball, Looney gets the steal and he gets the ball to Livingston for a dunk that gets Oracle Arena bumping. The Raptors have to take a timeout here and they do.
Klay Thompson out, on crutches
Raptors 91-93 Warriors, 8:07, 4th quarter
Livingston scores to give the Warriors the lead. Thompson meanwhile is walking out on crutches, it’s hard to watch.
Email from Thomas Shaw:
Hey, I sent in an email in game 5 about Ibaka’s efficiency throughout these finals and this game he is doing the exact same. What do you think the Raptors need to do most of all to hold on for the Win ?
Well Ibaka continues to do what he has to do. I think Kawhi needs to have a trademark fourth quarter. Nobody likes to win because the other team is injured, but they have to take advantage of Thompson being out for the game. It’s in their hands now.
Raptors 91-91 Warriors, 9:06, 4th quarter
Looks like the Raptors heard me. VanVleet does what he’s been doing all series, hitting a long three and this one ties the game. The Warriors take a timeout. It’s time to bring in Curry and they might have to ride him out for the rest of the game.
Raptors 88-91 Warriors, 9:18, 4th quarter
Quinn Cook with a layup to increase the Warriors lead. Report on Klay Thompson: he’s not going to return to this game, which is not surprising at all. This is the Raptors chance to take advantage and end this one now.
Raptors 88-89 Warriors, 10:14, 4th quarter
Ibaka makes a layup, it’s a one point game and Curry remains on the bench to start the fourth.
Raptors 86-89 Warriors, 11:18, 4th quarter
Jonas Jerebko sighting to start the fourth quarter, that’s… that’s certainly one strategy for the Warriors. Cousins gets fouled and gets to the line, he makes both free throws.
Raptors 86-88 Warriors, 11:34, 4th quarter
Nope, that final shot didn’t count. It’s still Warriors with a two-point lead. Ibaka misses a jumper to start the fourth quarter.
Email from Luis Roldanus:
Why do they make such a big deal about fouls. They mention them as much as how many points a player has.
Like the rate of ejection must be really low, I don’t know. But the emphasis they put on it is just not necessary.
Not one ejection this series. Like come on talk about something else.
Well, it changes how many minutes managers give players and alters how they defend. It’s an important thing to note, especially when it’s a key player. It may be overemphasized in the Finals, I will admit.
End of third-quarter: Raptors 86-88 Warriors
Lowry gets to the line and he makes one of two and then takes advantage of a Warriors defensive breakdown to score. Leonard tips in an Ibaka layup at the buzzer and they will look to see if it’s good. Right now it’s a two-point game, but that could change.
Raptors 83-88 Warriors, 1:07, 3rd quarter
Leonard makes one of two free throws. Iguodala has to take a desperation three and somehow makes it.
Raptors 82-85 Warriors, 1:31, 3rd quarter
Siakam makes his two free throws. Meanwhile, we’re going to get a jump ball here, won by Quinn Cook for the Warriors. He finds McKinnie, who can’t convert. Siakam with a rare miss on the other end. Cousins can’t convert for the Warriors and Draymond Green puts Leonard on the line.
Klay Thompson off court with injury
Raptors 80-85 Warriors, 2:22, 3rd quarter
Wait, what’s this? Thompson is back out on the court, walking on his own. He has to attempt the free throws if he wants to return later in the game so he’s going to toughen it out. He makes both free throws. Wow. Cousins fouls Siakam to give Thompson the chance to leave the court so he can be examined.
Raptors 80-83 Warriors, 2:22, 3rd quarter
It’s the left knee for Thompson, who landed awkwardly on the play after the Danny Green foul. He’s being carried off the court and that’s probably it for the game
This is pretty much the worst case scenario for the Warriors.
Raptors 80-83 Warriors, 2:22, 3rd quarter
Leonard wraps up Draymond Green, picking up his fourth foul. Also not ideal for the Raptors. Not ideal for the Warriors? Draymond missing both free throws. Lowry loses the ball on the other end, Thompson runs to the basket, picks up a foul and hits the ground hard.
Oh no, he’s hurt.
Raptors 80-83 Warriors, 2:47, 3rd quarter
Thompson for three. Money. However, Cousins fouls Ibaka, putting him on the line. He misses his first, that makes the locals happy, but gets the second.
Raptors 79-80 Warriors, 3:36, 3rd quarter
We’re getting more looks at Klay Thompson’s three-pointer, pointing out that 99% of all players shouldn’t have even attempted it. Out of the timeout, VanVleet tries a three of his own but it’s a miss. Curry scores however, they have a four-point lead now. The fans at Oracle are cheering for defense. Instead Leonard does his thing, scoring around the rim after an Ibaka pass and picking up a foul. He makes the foul shot.
Thanks, I’ll take it.
At this point I can’t even begin to predict where this is going other than we’re going to have more lead changes.
Raptors 76-78 Warriors, 4:41, 3rd quarter
Oh that was fast. Leonard turns the ball over, Thompson hits a ridiculous three. Gasol tries to answer, can’t. Iguodala scores and there’s a Golden State lead. The Raptors take a timeout.
Raptors 76-73 Warriors, 5:41, 3rd quarter
The Warriors really could have capitalized on that foul, but Iguodala misses both free throws. As happens nearly every time a team fails to hit both free throws, the other team makes them pay as Siakam scores on the other end.
“My bad,” Iguodala says and instead hits a three on the other end. Siakam scores again though. Can’t shake him.
I fully endorse this. (I’m from Boston, so I’m legally allowed to say so.)
Email from Stephen Hodson:
Hi Hunter again,
Considering how Leonard has been relatively quiet in the first half, the Raptors can feel pretty good with a 3 point edge. Kyle Lowry has been immense with his 21.
The third quarter looms large on how this game is apt to go - if the Raptors keep it close, then they have every reason to be confident Kawhi will increase his output to something close to his typical 30+ points.
Raptors 72-70 Warriors, 6:53, 3rd quarter
Curry gets a good look at a three and he won’t miss that. Meanwhile, Lowry has picked up his fourth foul of the game (that could be huge). The Warriors take a timeout.
Raptors 72-67 Warriors, 7:42, 3rd quarter
Iguodala gets to the line now, he hits the first free throw but not the second.
Raptors 72-66 Warriors, 8:12, 3rd quarter
Curry gets called for a third foul when it seems like it’s all-ball. It will put VanVleet on the line for two free throws, which he sinks. Looney attempts a layup on the other end, which Green tips in.
But Leonard scores on the very next possession and picks up a foul, that’s one Looney. Kawhi, to the surprise of no one, completes the three-point play.
Raptors 67-64 Warriors, 8:49, 3rd quarter
Thompson briefly ties things up but Kawhi makes his first three-pointer.
Raptors 64-62 Warriors, 9:45, 3rd quarter
Not what you want to see, Curry is showing discomfort in his right thigh. Something to watch for in this game, although he’s staying in. Thompson, who has been the Warriors’ biggest weapon so far, gets their first points of the second half with a jumper. Siakam answer on the other end.
And Curry looks pretty okay as he nails a three pointer to cut the Raptors lead to two.
Raptors 62-57 Warriors, 11:05, 3rd quarter
Curry misses a three-pointer to start the third quarter off. VanVleet scores on the other end to increase the Raptors lead.
Raptors 60-57 Warriors, 12:00, 3rd quarter
And the second half begins already!
Kyle Lowry has gotten a lot of heat about his postseason play but so far he’s the reason that the Raptors have a one-possession lead heading into the second half. He’s scored 21 points along with dishing out 6 assists and 6 rebounds. Hard to affect the game much more than that.
Email from Emma Tuckwell:
Hey thanks for your live blog, I’m reading it at work so I can talk to my Raptors fanatic partner tonight and somewhat sound like I know what I’m talking about.
I’m always a little scared when anybody is taking notes off of what I’m saying. I have imposter syndrome... or am possibly an actual imposter. One or the other.
This is an understandable response considering how this game is going.
Dr. Robert Bruce Scott emails us some adivce for those with an ESPN subscription hoping to catch the game (not sure about whether this works outside the US, but worth a shot):
On a computer, ESPN3 has free coverage of the entire finals, including tonight’s game.
A continuation of the argument about why the US score format is the ways it is:
Yeah even without Durant, the Warriors always have the ability to go on huge third quarter runs.
Well that was the most exciting first half of the Finals. This one might come down to which team has the ball last.
I’m curious to where the Warriors would be right now if they could hold onto the ball, they’ve made a number of careless turnovers.
End of the first half: Raptors 60-57 Warriors
Leonard gets his third foul at a bad time as he sends Thompson to the line for three more shots here with a half-minute left in the game. He makes all three. It’s a one-point game and the Raptors are going to want to do something here…
And they do, Lowry drives to the basket and scores, that’s his 21st point. Warriors have a chance to score here, but Curry’s pass goes out of bounds. That’s the 10th Warriors turnover. Raptors with a chance to make the final shot but Lowry misses and that will be the end of the first half. Whew!
Raptors 58-54 Warriors, 46.5, 2nd quarter
A wide open Iguodala hits a three pointer and the Warriors have the lead for a few seconds before Lowry adds to his point total. The Warriors gets a number of chances on the other end but can’t score. Leonard scores and gets fouled. Of course he makes the free throw.
Raptors 53-51 Warriors, 2:35, 2nd quarter
And now it’s the Serge Ibaka Show, he scores on three straight possessions, punctuated by a Draymond Green dunk, and the Raptors have the lead back.
Raptors 47-49 Warriors, 4:40, 2nd quarter
And Pascal Siakam with a layup because neither team looks prepared to break away in this half. Marc Gasol fouls Thompson who goes to the line for three and gives Golden State the lead back.
Raptors 45-46 Warriors, 4:40, 2nd quarter
Thompson with a steal on the Raptors’ end. Lots of turnovers in this fast paced game. On the other end, Green finds Iguodala again. Leonard with a pullup jumper on the other end to answer, though.
Nick Nurse is like that song popularized by Johnny Cash: he’s been everywhere man.
Raptors 43-44 Warriors, 5:22, 2nd quarter
Iguodala with a tremendous dunk off of a Green pass and Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse takes a timeout that nobody will be criticizing.
Raptors 43-42 Warriors, 5:37, 2nd quarter
Curry makes a ridiculous midrange shot to narrow the Raptors lead down to one-point, they are not going to go away any time soon.
Raptors 43-40 Warriors, 6:50, 2nd quarter
Livingston tries to score under defensive pressure and it’s no good. Van Vleet attempts a runner it’s no good either and neither is another Siakam three. Warriors get another shot here, and Looney scores under the basket. One possession game.
And we have an answer to our earlier question, although this might not be available on a hotel room television set:
Raptors 43-38 Warriors, 8:15, 2nd quarter
Siakam finally makes a three-pointer, VanVleet makes yet another three-pointer and the Warriors take a timeout.
Raptors 37-38 Warriors, 9:34, 2nd quarter
Ibaka with a hookshot to regain the lead. Cousins his the ground and is slow to get up, but he stays in the game and scores the next basket and the Warriors now have the lead. Perhaps a ping-pong affair tonight.
Raptors 35-36 Warriors, 10:12, 2nd quarter
Thompson draws a foul, which is being called in the act of shooting but they’re checking to see where his foot was to see if that’s two or three shots. It looks like it’s going to be for two, he makes them both and the Warriors have another lead.
Raptors 35-34 Warriors, 10:45 2nd quarter
Lowry gets fouled and gets to the line to start the scoring with two made free throws. He already has 17 points. Looney finds Shaun Livingston, who gets his first points.
Raptors 33-32 Warriors, 11:45, 2nd quarter
We start the second quarter with a missed
Susan Myer needs help and sadly I don’t know the answer to this particular question:
I’ve watched Sky Sports 1 for the previous five NBA finals games and now it’s broadcasting the US Open. Do you know what channel the game is on? I am visiting London from the States and watching from my hotel room.
Raptors 33-32 Warriors, end of the 1st quarter
And both teams are hot now. Lowry makes a three-pointer answered by Steph Curry, his first field goal of the game. Ibaka, who has been invaluable for Toronto all series, scores as does Leonard.
Curry gets to the line as the first quarter winds down, that’s another foul on Lowry, and Mr. Automatic makes them both. The Warriors cut it down to a one-point game at the end of the first quarter.
Raptors 26-27 Warriors, 1:51, 1st quarter
And just like that, the lead has evaporated. Draymond Green has an open look and drills it and the fans at Oracle make noise. Ibaka misses on the other end.
Raptors 26-25 Warriors, 2:55, 1st quarter
VanVleet misses a three-pointer out of the timeout, it just bounces out. Cousins, swarmed at the basket, lays it in and gets fouled. He makes his free throw to close out the three-point play. It’s a one point game.
When I first started liveblogging it’s not something I ever noticed and I got in trouble for going home team vs road team in my headings. So, I’m sympathetic, that always made sense for me.
Raptors 26-22 Warriors, 3:17, 1st quarter
DeMarcus Cousins is in the game and he gets close to the basket and scores past defenders. The Raptors take a timeout. They have outplayed the Warriors in every facet and yet it’s a four-point game.
Raptors 26-20 Warriors, 4:07, 1st quarter
Gasol gets fouled by McKinnie on the way to the basket, but can only convert one of his free throws.
Raptors 25-20 Warriors, 4:14, 1st quarter
Klay Thompson pulls up and hits a long-two. Marc Gasol tries his first attempt of the game and it’s just that, an attempt. Thompson hits another three, he’s been doing his part early on. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Fred VanVleet answers with a three of his own.
Raptors 22-15 Warriors, 5:26, 1st quarter
Leonard scores his first points. Bogut misses a shot and then falls down. Alfonzo McKinnie then fouls Kyle Lowry he does to the free throw line. Lowry makes one of two.
Raptors 19-15 Warriors, 5:52, 1st quarter
Andrew Bogut is in for Looney, who we can expect to have plenty of rest this game. The Raptors turn it over on their end, but the Warriors respond with a turnover on their end. Siakam dunks to increase the Raptors lead. It’s about time for Thompson to check-in for Golden State, which he does with a trademark three.
Okay, the best possible start for Toronto and Kawhi hasn’t scored yet. I’m not sure the three-point shooting is sustainable however.
Raptors 17-12 Warriors, 6:57, 1st quarter
Draymond Green finds Iguodala for a basket and Thompson tips in an Iguodala miss and it’s just a five point game. The Warriors take a timeout.
Raptors 17-8 Warriors, 7:46, 1st quarter
Steph Curry gets to the line for the Warriors and of course he makes both of his free throws, that’s a foul on Lowry. You’ll never guess what the Raptors respond with: Siakam makes yet another three-pointer. The Raptors are beating the Warriors with their own game.
Raptors 14-6 Warriors, 8:36, 1st quarter
Well, can’t say that Looney isn’t doing his part early on, he draws a goaltend to cut into the Toronto lead. Unfortunately, Siakam hits a three to get it back and then some.
Raptors 11-4 Warriors, 9:19, 1st quarter
Looney with an easy dunk to get the Warriors on the board but Lowry hits yet another three. He’s beyond on fire to start things off. Iguodala responds by getting a basket and drawing a foul. He misses the foul shot however.
Raptors 8-0 Warriors, 10:17 1st quarter
Kyle Lowry hits two straight three-pointers and the Raptors already have an eight-point lead. The Warriors turn it over yet again but Leonard’s three is no good.
Raptors 2-0 Warriors, 11:18, 1st quarter
Kyle Lowry scores the first basket of the game, good sign for Toronto. The Warriors turn it over.
Raptors 0-0 Warriors, 12:00, 1st quarter
And we’re off!
One last prediction before Opening Tip
The Finals broadcast can keep the constant Stevie Wonder songs they have used going into breaks, though. I can’t complain about that.
Okay we should be ready to go shortly. Apple time, Apple time.
Email from Stephen Hodson:
Hello Hunter, greetings from just North East of Toronto.
I’ve really been enjoying your coverage and insights into this thrilling NBA finals series. Having grown accustomed to some excellent Raptors teams falling short in the playoffs in recent seasons, this time has been a breath of fresh air. The cool professionalism of Kawhi has been awesome to behold.
Golden State have been so dominant year after year we didn’t dare believe it could come down to this - and yet here we are on the brink having taken two already in Oakland. I predict a close game like game 5, but this time the Raptors to prevail 105-95.
Keep up the good work!
Thanks! I was highly skeptical of the Raptors’ ability to compete before the start of the series but they really made believers of me.
If this is the last game of the series can I make one more vote for Doris Burke to actually call the game and not be stuck on the sidelines next time around? I just want to get that out of the way before the actual game starts (and we’re indeed approaching that moment).
“O Canada” is performed by Sarah McLachlan! Holy cow, this was designed just to appeal to those of us who were angsty teenagers in the ‘90s and I am for this pandering. 10/10.
The Warriors bring in the lead singer of Train for “The Star Spangled Banner.” 0/10. They are going to lose just for doing this to us.
And a vote for the Raptors
Golden State Warriors starters
Wow, Kevon Looney is starting despite the injury. I mean, you have to admire him for his toughness but still it’s hard to praise hurt players rushing to hit the floor after what we witnessed last game.
Steph Curry – G
Klay Thompson – G
Draymond Green – F
Andre Iguodala - F
Kevon Looney - C
Email from Stu Berger:
Subject: Warriors get it done
Golden State will still win this series. In the end, Toronto seriously choked away game 5 and that will forever haunt them. Class and experience will prevail.......
They have a hill to climb, but anything goes in this series.
Toronto Raptors starters
Same as it ever was.
Kyle Lowry – G
Danny Green – G
Kawhi Leonard – F
Pascal Siakam – F
Marc Gasol - C
A nice display from Quinn Cook, who has had a rather solid Finals performance among the Warriors role players.
The NBA Countdown crew is talking about who will step up for the Warriors, which is a big question. The answer can’t be “nobody,” after all. I mean, it could be but this one will be over rather swiftly unless Curry has like a 50+ point game. They also point out that Draymond Green is a tech away from a suspension, so he’s going to have to be very careful tonight.)
(Note: Steph Curry is 100% capable to have a 50+ point game, so take this with a grain of salt.)
(Additional note: Draymond Green might not be capable of avoiding an additional technical foul.)
While I’d love to be here on Sunday, these liveblogs are always fun on my end, it will be a relief in not having to tolerate this much Jimmy Kimmel while waiting for “NBA Countdown.”
Why am I still making predictions? I keep making them and the games keep going the exact opposite of the way I think they are. I have become Paul Pierce, destroyer of words.
In any case, I’m going to once again say that the Raptors are going to close this out tonight. I feel like the Warriors managed to win Game 5 partly because they were inspired by Durant’s injury and a segment of the Toronto’s crowd rude reaction towards it. They’ve now had a few days to reckon with his absence, maybe it’s weighing on them. They have to win today and in Sunday’s Game 7, while the Raptors need just one more victory.
This is all armchair psychology on my part but it feels like knowing that Durant won’t be back to play hero has to have some sort of effect. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are going to have to step up and the Warriors’ supporting cast is going to have to contribute… something, like they did in Game 2, Golden State’s only win without any contribution from Durant.
I don’t see all that happening, maybe you do! Send me your predictions either through email (to email@example.com) or tweet (@HunterFelt). In any case, I have the Warriors and Raptors battling up to overtime and Golden State just not having enough juice to push through.
Before the game, head coach Warriors head coach Steve Kerry said that center Kevon Looney, who also hurt his chest in Game 5 (while playing through a collarbone injury) would attempt to play in today’s game. Kevin Durant’s Achilles is going “are we really sure you want to do that?” right about now.
To read more about the ongoing controversy around Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury and the Golden State Warriors medical staff from an insider’s perspective, Etan Thomas wrote earlier today about why he believes team doctors don’t have the players’ best interests at heart.
Somehow, we’ve reached Game 6 of one of the oddest and most impossible to predict NBA Finals I can remember in a long while. It feels like the Toronto Raptors should have wrapped things up in Game 5 when they took a lead heading into the game’s final minutes but the Golden State Warriors were able to finagle a comeback and just manage to survive and pull off a 106-105 win.
All of his means there will be, in fact, one final game at Oracle Arena and the Warriors have a chance to feed off the energy of their hometown crowd in Oakland one last time before they abandon them for San Francisco. (Hey, the NBA is a cold business for fans sometimes.) It’s still an elimination game, mind you, and these Raptors remain a tough opponent. If Draymond Green hadn’t gotten a piece of Kyle Lowry’s attempted buzzer-beater in Game 5’s closing seconds this one might already be over.
Now, they officially will be without Kevin Durant, whose Achilles injury will be looming over whatever time remains in these Finals. There are plenty of questions now about whether the Warriors pushed him too hard to return too early. It’s also thrown free agency in complete disarray, given how much everything was revolving around Durant’s decision. While it may seem to be too soon to think about such things, the offseason could come to an unofficial beginning in the next few hours.
The Warriors, however, will be looking to keep it alive for one final game. So, today we find out if that’s the end of the NBA season or if they take a page from the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs and give us all a Game 7. Stay tuned here to see how things go and, as always, feel free to contribute with your comments and questions, either by sending them via email (to firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter (to @HunterFelt). It’s Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at Oracle Arena! Opening Tip is scheduled sometime after 9:00pm EST but we’ll be back before then.
Hunter will be here shortly, in the meantime here is the latest on Kevin Durant’s injury:
Kevin Durant confirmed what everyone most feared: He underwent surgery for a ruptured right achilles tendon.
Durant posted on social media Wednesday the severity of his injury two days after getting hurt during Game 5 of the NBA finals in Toronto in his return from a strained right calf that sidelined him a month.
The 30-year-old posted a photo on Instagram showing himself in a hospital bed and wrote: “I wanted to update you all: I did rupture my Achilles. Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY.”
Read the full story below: