After trailing for nearly the entire game, Kawhi Leonard put the Toronto Raptors on his back and willed them almost all the way to the finish line. But by the time the clock showed all zeroes at Scotiabank Arena Monday night, the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors had won a spirited test of wills and taken Game 6 of the NBA Finals 106-105.
And earned one last game inside the friendly confines of Oracle Arena.
In a game that ran the risk of being overshadowed by Kevin Durant's injury -- he departed after reaggravating the lower right leg ailment that held him out a month and din't return -- the final minutes proved to be an absolute thrill. Leonard (26 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists) and Klay Thompson (26 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) traded blows. DeMarcus Cousins nearly blew it with a series of boneheaded decisions. Draymond Green got whistled for a stunning backcourt violation when it mattered most.
But in the end, the Raptors took the ball down a point and could not find the rack thanks to some terrific defense from the visitors. Dubs win.
Down 3-2 in this series, there's still a tremendous uphill climb for Steve Kerr's team. They have to take care of business in Oakland, where they've lost twice in both tries in this series, before heading back to the Six to settle things for good. And they'll have to do it without KD, who could be done for a long, long time.
But if tonight's stretch run proved anything, it's that this team won't quit. And they've got the firepower to outslug literally anyone, no matter how long the odds.