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.
Expect the Raptors to shoot the ball better than they did in Game 5 and if the Raptors take the series vs Warriors that would mean 7-0 SERIES BET CASHES for ALL MY CLIENTS!
Those of you following me on social media, twitter etc. saw all the Winning Prediction first hand, including the Raptors (+235) series bet over the Bucks. At the same time, I released the Raptors (8-1) to win the Title!
See ya back next year for Hoops!
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