It was a night full of emotions for both parts and for numerous reasons. First, let’s take a look at the first half of the game. In the 1st quarter it could easily be seen that the Warriors do, indeed, need Kevin Durant and he is, indeed, making them better as a team, in spite of all the chatter that went through in the last month about this topic. Simply the presence of Durant on the floor made more space for others to operate, and it could be seen in the game of Curry, who had 14 points in the first, and Thompson. As the minutes were going by, Durant started like he never left, scoring 11 in the first 12 minutes, on a perfect 3-from-3 from 3-pt line, and all of the Raptors were in big trouble, looking forward into the series. But, as everybody know until now, unfortunately for Kevin, the Warriors organization and the whole NBA, he went down at the beginning of the second quarter, holding on his lower leg. From the gesture that he made, it was exactly the same reaction as the one Kobe Bryant made in 2013 when he suffered a torn Achilles as well. From that moment, it was kind of clear that, sadly, this is the case for Kevin too.
We don’t need to speak about the Raptors fans who started cheering when this happened, because it was just utterly trash and hard to believe, as they were being enthusiastic for one’s health condition… what more can be said, just that they were trash. The Raptors players, though, saved the situation a little bit by telling them repeatedly to stop, so give Kyle Lowry and Danny Green all the credit and respect for doing that. After this sad incident that will mark Durant’s whole career, it was all emotional for the players on both sides, and the Golden State Warriors continued to be in front, with Curry leading them and Thompson silencing the crowd from time to time with a three.
Coming into the fourth, Kevon Looney needed to be sidelined as well, as he aggravated his right shoulder, and so Steve Kerr put DeMarcus Cousins back in the game. It proved to be beneficiary after all for the Warriors, as Cousins made an impact throughout the whole second half, scoring 14 big points and grabbing 6 rebounds. Late 4th quarter, though, it looked like they were out of gas once again, while Kawhi Leonard scored 10 straight points in 4 possessions all of a sudden making it a tie game. The Raptors got in front by 6 points with less than 3 minutes to play, and many thought that it was over, as Golden State didn’t seem to have ideas on the offense anymore. Then, the Klay Thompson element came into play. Together with Curry, who scored one of them, they scored 3 straight threes to give them the lead once again. The last 30 seconds of the game were so confusing, as the Warriors almost lost the game on a backcourt violation and a moving screen, on two straight possessions. Very sloppy plays, and it usually turns out bad for those who made those mistakes, but this time they were lucky enough to extend the series, so off to Oakland we go.
Coming back to Durant’s injury, it just shows you how much of an impact can the mass-media have on one player’s mind. All that pressure that was put on to him since he got hurt, all those “Warriors are better without KD”, “He doesn’t care, he will leave anyway”, “He isn’t a true leader” statements definitely had a say in KD’s decision to play, even if his body was not 100% ready. It’s so sad that we live in a world where others are constantly trying to tell the players what they should do, when they should do it and why, when in fact, they have no darn clue what are they going through or how their body feels, from the injury point of view. It is clear that he decided to play and sacrifice his WHOLE career just so that all those haters and idiots would finally shut the hell up. It costed him at least a year from his career that it’s paved to GREATNESS, and given the fact that by 2020 he will be 32 years old, it’s a major blow. After all that, all those who doubted him can, at least, mind their “chair sports specialists” business now.