The Golden State Warriors (2) won 106-105 over the Toronto Raptors (3), to force a sixth game in the NBA Grand Final.
The Canadians had the last attack in their hands, but they lost the most important shot of the campaign. Thursday will be the sixth game, in which the Golden State will seek to force a seventh and final game.
Kevin Durant's return with the Warriors in the NBA final did not last long.
Durant left the game of the fifth series against the Toronto Raptors at the beginning of the second period. He limped off on Monday after he presumably suffered the right leg injury that left him out of the previous nine Golden State games in the playoffs.
The star was injured in a dribble on the right side. Unable to support his leg, he collapsed. So he took a hand between the calf and the Achilles tendon, and had to get help to go to the bank and return to the Warriors' locker room.
Andre Iguodala, a Golden State striker, remained to the left of Durant on his way to the locker room. Also in the group were general manager Bob Myers and Stephen Curry.
The Warriors reported that Durant would not return to the game, and that he would undergo an MRI scan on Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury. It was apparent that Durant had said badly when he left the court in a gesture of frustration.
Facing a possible elimination, the Warriors decided that Durant was healthy enough to play. Warriors coach Steve Kerr made the announcement about 90 minutes before the start, saying Durant would be on the starting lineup.
"He responded well and will play," Kerr said.
The Warriors made it 3-1 against Toronto in the title game, which means their hopes for a third consecutive NBA championship were on the edge of the abyss. Durant has not played since suffering a calf muscle injury in the fifth round of the Western Conference semifinals against Houston.
Durant spent about 25 minutes on the court before leaving the end of the Warriors' shootout to continue treatment. Apparently, there was no setback.
"Now he can play," Kerr said. "He's got clearance, so he's going to play."
Durant was allowed to resume full training of the Warriors medical team after the fourth NBA Finals game and trained with the team on Sunday for the first time since his injury. He averaged 26.0 points per game for the Warriors during the regular season and 34.2 points in 11 games before getting hurt.
"You care about conditioning," Kerr said. "The ability, of course, is undisputed and it's a guy who can count on his chance whenever he wants." He was in similar situations with us where he took long breaks. of this. "
Durant was the most valuable player in the NBA Finals when Golden State won the titles in 2017 and 2018. The Warriors are 6-3 in playoff commitments that Durant did not go.