This one's for Kevin: Durant injury clouds great escape as Warriors live to fight again

Sports | 12 Jun 2019

Clutch three-pointers by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson lifted the Golden State Warriors to a 106-105 win over the Toronto Raptors, keeping alive their hopes of winning a third consecutive NBA title.

But any joy from the victory was dimmed by a right Achilles injury to Kevin Durant only 12 minutes into the All-Star forward's first game after being sidelined for a month by a calf injury.

Curry scored 31 points while Thompson added 26 as the Warriors pulled within 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, forcing a sixth game Friday (HK time) at home.

"Do or die," Curry said. "It wasn't pretty ... but we just made the shots."

Durant's long-awaited return ended with him being helped off the court.

"You could feel the life just go right out of us," forward Draymond Green said. "But to Steph's credit, he rallied the troops ... just told everybody to stay locked in and do this for Kevin. And I think we did a good job of coming together."

Durant, the 2017 and 2018 Finals Most valuable Player, left the arena on crutches.

"We do it for Kevin," Thompson said. "He wants us to compete at the highest level and we'll think of him every time we step on the hardwood."

Durant posted on Instagram: "I'm hurting deep in my soul right now. I can't lie, but seeing my brothers get this win was like taking a shot of tequila. I got new life."

Coach Steve Kerr said: "It's a bizarre feeling we all have right now, an incredible win and a horrible loss at the same time."

Kawhi Leonard, who led Toronto with 26 points, sank a back-to-back three-pointer and a jumper to give the Raptors a 103-97 lead with three minutes 28 seconds left. But Curry hit a three-pointer and Thompson nailed two to put Golden State ahead to stay at 106-103.

Kyle Lowry cut the lead to one and, after Golden State's DeMarcus Cousins was whistled for a foul trying to set a screen, the Raptors had another chance to swipe the title. But the Warriors double-teamed Leonard and Green blocked a Lowry corner three-point shot at the buzzer.

Even the Toronto players admitted being shaken by Durant's injury.

Lowry said: "In this league we're all brothers ... You never want to see a competitor like him go down."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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