TORONTO – The Toronto Raptors had the Golden State Warriors in the last hours of Game Five on Monday, but even with one hand in the Larry O & # 39; Brien Trophy, it was not enough to take the NBA championship from the two-time defending champion.
Toronto mounted a fourth-quarter comeback to take control of a crowd of red shirts eager to celebrate the first NBA championship in the team's 24-year history, but then their shooters suddenly became cold.
Even after wasting a six-point lead three minutes from time, the Raptors still had a chance to win the game, but Kyle Lowry's last kick in the corner was not even close.
The Raptors guard dismissed suggestions that they might think of celebrating a title in their home in their minds.
"No, we're in. They came back and made three straight laps. They played a good defense at the end," Lowry said after the 106-105 loss.
"We just lost a few shots and they did what they should do."
The Raptors dragged themselves up to 14 in the second half before a torrid run made them take a 103-97 lead with two and a half minutes to play. However, they were outclassed 9-2 the rest of the way, firing 1-to-6 in the final minutes.
Raptors, striker Kawhi Leonard, was restrained for most of the night when he released to start the return, a three-point dagger, putting Toronto ahead of one with five minutes to play.
That marked the start of a hot stretch for Leonard, his 10 straight points in Toronto, giving them a six-point lead before coach Nick Nurse paid a time limit, which seemed to stop the moment.
"At that time, I felt he probably wanted to rest for a bit at the time," said Leonard, who scored 26 points. "You never know, I mean, if we had won the game, we would not be talking about it."
But the Warriors, who lost Kevin Durant to a second-quarter Achilles tendon injury, were fired and used a quick pass to create a series of easy visuals, taking advantage of a few twists and turns in Toronto.
Fortunately for the Raptors, they have two more chances to close the best-of-seven series, which resumes in Oakland on Thursday. A Warriors victory there would mount a clash between the winner and the public in Toronto on Sunday.
"Our team reacted year-round, great for bad losses, and I would say it takes a lot to beat that team, and that took a lot of punches and a lot of balls jumping on the wrong track." last two minutes for us to get off on the wrong side of tonight, "said the nurse.
"But I'm super proud of the guys. Dude, they threw away, they kept fighting and they put themselves in a position to win."
(Peter Rutherford Edition)
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