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Raptors still in control of NBA Finals but grip has slipped with Game 5 loss

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11.06.2019

TORONTO – It’s been 24 years of ups and downs, embarrassments and heartbreaks.

So why do it the easy way now?

Faced with a chance to efficiently dispatch the Golden State Warriors in five games and in front of a throbbing crowd with a city on edge, the Toronto Raptors blinked for one of the few times in their otherwise steady playoff march.

The Raptors came back from down 14 in the third quarter, rode a signature 10-0 run by Kawhi Leonard in the middle of the fourth quarter to build a six-point lead with 3:28 to play and will still be getting on a plane to Oakland on Tuesday.

Champions die hard, clearly.

Even with Kevin Durant out for the count, the Warriors got two triples from Klay Thompson and another by Steph Curry to fight back and go up three with 57.6 seconds left. A Kyle Lowry lay-up cut Golden State’s lead to one. The Raptors had one more chance – and Lowry did too – but his three-point attempt from the corner never made the rim.

The Raptors plan was to win by any style required, let the confetti drop, raise the Larry O’Brien Trophy and set off a party that would last long into many nights for many people.

The Warriors plan was simple: survive now, hope to thrive later.

"When you get to the Finals or the Conference Finals you got two great teams, and so if a team can get a win when it’s 3-1 and make it 3-2, they got some momentum," said Kerr. "So that’s the idea, that’s the whole idea tonight is play better than we have been playing and get some momentum early, win one game and then the tenor of........

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