NBA Finals 2019: Golden State Warriors Vs Toronto Raptors - Game 6 Predictions & Game 5 Highlights
With the Toronto Raptors leading the series 3-2 action will move to the Oracle Arena, Oakland, for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. This will be the last game the Golden State Warriors ever play at the Oracle Arena and they will want to end their historic record-setting run in the arena on a high note and force a Game 7.
When: 14th June, 6:30 AM IST
There were so many narratives coming into this game -- Kevin Durant's return, Steph Curry's legacy, Warrior's 'three-peat', the Toronto Raptors' first championship and so on. For the most part, the action on court lived up to the hype.
With Durant finally, back on court, the Warriors came in with a renewed sense of confidence. They came out hot with Durant making his presence felt on both sides of the court. He ended the quarter with 11 points going a perfect 3 for 3 from the three-point arc. Curry was also aggressive, scoring 15 points. The Raptors weathered the onslaught and were only down six points to start the second quarter.
Durant injured his leg early in the second and had to go back to the dressing room with 9:46 left in the half. The Warriors managed to extend the lead through DeMarcus Cousins, off the bench. They were up by as much as 13 before some sloppy offense from Golden State and a spurt of buckets from Marc Gasol brought the lead back down to six points.
The Warriors upped their game in the second half and went up by 14 points. Yet, in what has become familiar now, the Warriors couldn't sustain their level of play. With Curry struggling to score in the quarter, the Raptors clawed their way back, courtesy Fred Van-Vleet and Kyle Lowry. They made it a six-point game going into the final quarter.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr made the brave decision of starting the final quarter with four bench players on the floor. They repaid his faith by ensuring the lead did not go down while they were on.
Kawhi Leonard, who was having a bad game, took over in the fourth quarter though, scoring every single point for his team as they went on a 10-2 run to take the lead. With just three minutes left and up 103-97 it looked like a fairytale ending for the Raptors.
But Golden State responded in the most Warrior-like way possible, with the 'Splash Brothers' hitting threes to give them a 3-point lead with less than a minute left on the clock. Lowry then made a layup to make it a one-point game with 30 seconds remaining.
Toronto had the last possession of the game with 15 seconds to go, and with the Warriors double-teaming Leonard, he was forced to ball to Lowry who failed to convert.
Though Leonard had three bad quarters -- after zero turnovers in Game 4, he turned it over five times on the night -- he was still the Raptors' best scorer with 26 points. Lowry, Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and Van-Vleet all made valuable contributions.
For the Warriors, it was the 'Splash Brothers' who led the charge with Steph and Klay Thompson putting up 31 and 27. Cousins had a big scoring game as well with 14 crucial points. Golden State had a good night shooting the three, making 20 of 42 (46.6%). The Raptors shot a poor 8-32, just 25% of their 3-point attempts.
Score: Warriors win 106-105
Game 6 Predictions
Warriors Lineup: Draymond Green(F), Andre Iguodala(F), Demarcus Cousins(C), Klay Thompson(SG), and Steph Curry(PG)
Whether Kevon Looney who reinjured his shoulder will play is uncertain. Kevin Durant will not play as he suffered an achiles injury in his right leg
Raptors Lineup: Pascal Siakam (F), Kawhi Leonard(F), Marc Gasol(C), Kyle Lowry(PG), and Danny Green(SG)
After grinding out a victory in a close Game 5, the Warriors are staring down the barrel yet again. With the momentum from the previous game and playing for the last time at home, the Warriors should believe that they have the advantage and believe they can force Game 7.
However, the fact that they had a great shooting night and still only managed to win by a single point should be worrisome. With Looney questionable, Cousins needs to continue giving them productive minutes. Neither Steph nor Klay can afford to have an bad game. Draymond must take the open shots he's getting and become more of a scoring threat.
The Raptors are one win away from their first NBA Championship. Till this point, they have clearly been the superior team. While their offense does have its issues, they are undoubtedly the best defensive team in the league. Given the way they lost Game 5 and their recent success at Oracle Arena, they will not be lacking in confidence. For them to win they need to find contributions from all their players and Kawhi needs to put up the big numbers once more. Another loss will shift the momentum away from them.
Facing yet another elimination game and playing for the very last time at Oracle Arena, the Golden State Warriors should grind out another win and force Game 7.