Last Updated: 2019-06-12
The Golden State Warriors lost Kevin Durant in Game 5 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada, on Monday night, but they won the clash over the Raptors 106-105 to stay alive and cut the deficit in the series to 3-2. Now, the series heads to Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, for Game 6 Thursday night, and the Warriors will be in a win or go home situation once more, while the Raptors will look for their fourth straight road victory over the reigning champions. Hereof, the thrilling battle is guaranteed.
While the Raptors are coming in full strength, the Warriors will be without Kevin Durant who returned to the lineup in Game 5 to suffer a heavy Achilles tendon injury. Kevon Looney (collar bone) is listed as questionable, but the Warriors hope he will ready to go.
The Warriors are listed as slight 2.5-point favorites with the total at 211.5 points and the Raptors at +125 money line odds. Although Kevin Durant is definitely done for the season, the bookies fancy the Warriors chances at home.
What’s at Stake?
With their season on the line, the Warriors did a great job in Game 5 in Toronto, and they will have cope with the same pressure on this one. The Raptors blew a tremendous opportunity on Monday night to finish the job on the home court, so it could make them nervous in Game 6.
The Raptors outlasted the Warriors at Oracle Arena three straight times and will be keen to extend their streak and win the championship in sunny California. On the other side, the Warriors will try to carry on the momentum from the previous clash when they barely overcame the Raptors to stay alive.
Kevin Durant’s presence in Game 5 was a huge factor in Golden State’s victory even though he spent just 12 minutes on the floor. KD scored 11 points while making all his three attempts from deep before he had to leave the game in the second quarter. However, his return to the floor after a month of recovering from a calf injury was a huge boost for the Warriors’ confidence.
The Splash Brothers led the reigning champions in Game 5, scoring some clutch points to decide the winner. Stephen Curry finished the game with 31 points, eight boards, and seven assists, while Klay Thompson added 26 points, six rebounds, and four dimes while hitting seven threes out of 13 attempts from deep. DeMarcus Cousins finally broke out of his funk, tallying 14 points and six boards off the bench.
On the other side, Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists, but he shot just 9-of-24 from the field. Six Raptors players scored in double figures, and the Eastern Conference champs still lost the game which is really a rare case.
The Raptors struggled with their 3-pointers, shooting only 25.0% from downtown, and they will have to improve in Game 6 if they want to beat the Warriors. Also, the Raptors scored 22 points in the paint more than the Warriors (54-32) and allowed just three fast break points to their rivals, but it wasn’t enough to grab a victory and clinch the championship.
With KD on the sideline, Kevon Looney or DeMarcus Cousins will return to the starting lineup. The Warriors second unit was a big issue in this series and could be a decisive factor in Game 6. On the other side, both Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka are playing well at the moment, providing depth for the Raptors off the bench.
The Warriors lost three of their four games in the Finals without Kevin Durant, and it seems the defending champions will have to shoot the ball extremely well and play some really good defense on Thursday night to save the season.
A narrow loss in Game 5 could damage the Raptors confidence, but I believe they will bounce back, knowing that Kevin Durant is definitely out of the series. The Raptors won three straight games at Oracle Arena, so they should be able to finish the job on this one. The Warriors will have to lean on Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and if one of the Splash Brothers starts to struggle from the field, the Warriors will be in big trouble. Therefore, I’m backing the Raptors to cover a 2.5-point spread, just in the case we get another thrilling finish.
The under has hit in the previous two games and it is 3-2 in this series. I’ve got burned on the over in Game 5 when both teams stayed below 50 second-half points, but I will stick with the over on this one. The Warriors will have to rely a lot on their 3-pointers, while I expect the Raptors to shoot the ball better than they did in Game 5.
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