TORONTO — The Golden State Warriors aren’t letting go of the NBA title just yet.
With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson shooting and Draymond Green swatting, the champions found a way to win even after a gut-wrenching loss.
Curry scored 31 points, Thompson added 26 and they led a season-saving surge long after Kevin Durant was injured again to give the Warriors a 106-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Devastated by the loss of Durant, the All-Stars that the Warriors had left made sure there was celebration along with their sadness.
“I’ve seen it over and over again. So it’s not really surprising, this is who they are,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Curry and Thompson, nicknamed the Splash Brothers, combined for three straight 3-pointers in the closing minutes after Toronto had taken a six-point lead with under 3½ minutes remaining in front of a raucous, red-shirted crowd.
“Even going down six with three minutes left, their ball, we didn’t panic,” Thompson said. “We just do what we do.”
The Warriors lost Durant barely a quarter after getting him back but got the win, cutting Toronto’s lead to 3-2 and sending the series back to Oracle Arena for Game 6 on Thursday.
Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points for the Raptors but couldn’t get the final shot, which went to Kyle Lowry and was blocked by Green.
The two-time defending champion Warriors were minutes away from their title reign ending, having lost Durant and a 14-point lead during an emotionally exhausting game. They had controlled Leonard for three quarters, but he scored 10 straight Toronto points in the fourth and the Raptors were close to their first championship and a party that would have stretched coast to coast in Canada.
But even after everything the Warriors had lost, they still had two of the best perimeter shooters in the world on the floor. Thompson hit a 3-pointer, and Curry followed with one to tie it at 103. Golden State got it back to Thompson and the Raptors lost sight of him just long enough for the tiebreaking shot with 57 seconds to go.
Toronto cut it to one when Kyle Lowry was credited with a basket and the Raptors got a final chance when DeMarcus Cousins was called for an illegal screen. Leonard had the ball but the Warriors forced him to pass and it ended up in the corner to Lowry, but Green sprinted over to get a hand on his shot as the buzzer sounded.
“He got a piece of it, that’s what great defenders do,” Lowry said. “He got a piece of it and we’ll continue to look at it and see how we can be better for the next game.”
Cousins had 14 points for the Warriors and Green finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Durant limped off in the second quarter after he had missed the previous nine games with a strained right calf.
The two-time NBA Finals MVP was attempting to dribble past Serge Ibaka early in the second quarter when he suddenly came to a stop, lost the ball and limped sideways before grabbing at his lower right calf as he fell to the court.
Durant left the arena on crutches with what the team said was an Achilles tendon injury and the Warriors said he would get an MRI today.
Lowry had 18 points and Marc Gasol scored 17 for the Raptors, who were trying to give Canada its first championship in one of the traditional major sports since the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993.
“We had a chance to win a championship tonight and we didn’t do it,” guard Fred VanVleet said. “We didn’t play well enough, we didn’t execute enough down the stretch and that stings a little bit.”
In the paint
Golden State also lost Kevon Looney again after he aggravated his injury to upper body cartilage. ... Durant finished with 11 points. He came in averaging 31.7 points per game in the NBA Finals, trailing only Rick Barry and Michael Jordan on the career list. Serge Ibaka scored 15 points and Fred VanVleet had 11 off Toronto’s bench.
Golden State 34 28 22 22 — 106
Toronto 28 28 22 27 — 105
GOLDEN STATE — Iguodala 2-7 0-0 5, Durant 3-5 2-2 11, Dr.Green 4-9 0-0 10, Curry 10-23 6-6 31, Thompson 9-21 1-2 26, McKinnie 0-0 0-0 0, Bell 1-1 0-0 2, Looney 2-4 0-0 4, Bogut 0-0 0-0 0, Cousins 6-8 1-4 14, Livingston 0-2 0-0 0, Cook 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 38-82 10-14 106.
TORONTO — Leonard 9-24 6-8 26, Siakam 6-15 0-1 12, Gasol 4-6 7-8 17, Lowry 8-16 1-2 18, Da.Green 2-7 0-0 4, Powell 1-2 0-0 2, Ibaka 5-8 5-6 15, VanVleet 3-7 2-2 11, McCaw 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-85 21-27 105.
3-point goals — GS 20-42 (Thompson 7-13, Curry 5-14, Durant 3-3, Dr.Green 2-4, Cook 1-2, Iguodala 1-3, Cousins 1-3), T 8-32 (VanVleet 3-6, Gasol 2-3, Leonard 2-7, Lowry 1-6, Powell 0-1, Ibaka 0-1, Siakam 0-4, Da.Green 0-4). Rebounds — GS 37 (Dr.Green 10), T 43 (Leonard 12). Assists — GS 27 (Dr.Green 8), T 19 (Leonard, Lowry 6). Total fouls — GS 22, T 19. Technicals — Dr.Green. Att. — 20,144.