The Golden State Warriors implemented the theft of these NBA Finals under the bright lights of the Scotiabank Arena in front of 19,800 incredulous witnesses wearing blood-red shirts and the stupefied daze of a crowd that just had their wallets swiped. This is what coach Steve Kerr’s team does when it discovers its collective rhythm, feeding off a savage defense that clamps down with impunity, extracts turnovers and then transforms them into transition artistry that douses the spirit of even the most resilient opponents.
Golden State returns to the Bay Area having stolen home-court advantage with a 109-104 Game 2 victory. The soul-crushing 18-0 run to begin the third quarter highlighted every weapon in the Warriors’ arsenal: the aforementioned crippling defense, devastating three-point shooting, and the kind of deft passing that keeps the ball moving and the defense guessing. It transformed a 59-54 halftime deficit into a commanding 72-59 lead that has altered the tenor of this series.
There were no victors in Game 5 of the Finals Monday night. Yes, the Golden State Warriors had 106 points to the Toronto Raptors’ 105. But Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury and the circumstances around it, both in the present and future, thudded down on everyone’s chest.
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