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OAKLAND, Calif. - Oracle Arena started to empty earlier than usual.

As a surprising number of Raptors fans stuck around to celebrate their team being one win away from the franchise's first championship, the Warriors faithful left the building with the knowledge that this could have been Golden State's final game in its home of 48 years. Considering the ramifications, it was telling.

The Warriors' Game 3 loss brought about defiance. Draymond Green talked about winning three games in a row as if it was business as usual. (He said there were "fun times ahead.") The thought of losing two consecutive playoff games at Oracle was laughable. After Friday night's 105-92 loss to the Raptors, though, laughter had no chance of entering the fray.

The postgame comments came as expected. Taking it "one game at a time" was mentioned more than once. But there was a somberness that was palpable, and as the Warriors head back to Toronto down 3-1, you can't help but think this dynasty is coming to an end.

Game 4 had all the makings of a Golden State victory. At home in a soon-to-be vacant arena, key players returning, a history of overcoming 2-1 deficits - it made too much sense. But even the greatest of champions can't overcome so many obstacles.

Linkback: https://tubagbohol.mikeligalig.com/index.php?topic=90267.0

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Without the services of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney in Game 3, Golden State really didn't stand a chance. Even with a superhuman effort from Stephen Curry, the Warriors simply didn't have enough bodies to compete with the Raptors.

The returns of Thompson and Looney for Game 4 meant the Warriors would get back on track, right? No, their heroic returns - Thompson scored a team-high 28 points in 42 minutes, and Looney added 10 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench - couldn't erase the physical, mental and emotional fatigue caused by five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.

"Klay was amazing," Steve Kerr said after Game 4. "With a tweaked hamstring to do what he did. Looney as well, coming in and playing 20 minutes given his injury status. So, both these guys - they're warriors. No pun intended. They just compete, compete, compete. And I'm really proud of both of them. Both played really well.

"But again, it just wasn't enough in terms of our teams' effort."

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The Warriors looked dead tired. Curry's 43-minute, 47-point performance in Game 3 took its toll. He scored 27 points Friday but shot just 9-of-22 from the field and 2-of-9 from beyond the arc, hitting front rim on multiple deep attempts and missing his usual burst to the rim on drives. The intensity and defensive prowess from Draymond Green was seen but mainly in the first half.

"Oh, Draymond played so hard out there tonight," Kerr said when asked to compare Green's play in the first half to the final 24 minutes. "The first half, the intensity was incredible. Just to see the athleticism and the defensive energy by both teams. It was amazing. Draymond is always at the center of all that. One of the best defender's I've ever seen. He's flying around and doing his thing and covering everybody.

"And so, Draymond always makes a huge impact on the game. And I thought he did again tonight, but again, it was a group effort. And we didn't have enough as a group to win the game."

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Kerr and the Warriors have taken a few haymakers from the Raptors, and they don't seem to have a counter. It's hard to blame them.

Without Durant, with Thompson and Looney hurt, with DeMarcus Cousins playing at half speed, the Warriors don't have what it takes to beat a hungry and talented Raptors team. Depth will always be sacrificed when you amass the level of talent that Golden State possesses. You just don't expect the injuries to happen all at once.

Most great teams reach this point, and it often arrives without warning.

The 1980s Celtics and Lakers were stopped by the "Bad Boys" Pistons, and those Pistons then fell to Michael Jordan's Bulls. The early 2000s Lakers couldn't handle a toxic mix of personalities, and the 2004 Pistons outworked them. The Heat's "Big Three" of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh wilted because they didn't have enough juice to run it back for the fourth time, and the 2014 Spurs blew right past them with Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who is on his way to the award once again with the Raptors.

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This year's Finals series isn't over yet. Golden State has been here before. Toronto has not. But the end is in sight.

"It's not a good feeling right now, obviously, but like you said, we have been on both sides of it," Curry said. "And for us, it's an opportunity for us to just flip this whole series on its head. It sounds cliche, and for us that's literally the only way we're going to get back in this series, is give everything we got for 48 minutes, everybody that sets foot on that floor in Game 5.

"In our locker room, we're talking about believing. Everybody out there believes that we can get this done. We got to. We can draw on those experiences that we had back in the day and see what happens."

Players and coaches will always say the right things after a tough loss. It's what they've been taught to do. Still, Friday night had a different feeling to it. The typical swagger of these Warriors was gone. The five-year run seemed to finally be wearing them down.

Oracle Arena may have just witnessed its final performance. That crowd walked out knowing Golden State's dynasty is on its last legs.

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Delikado ang Warriors. Basin karong gabii ma tigbak na sila

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buhi pa ang warriors. naka daug half shot lay deperensya. ang lisod kay na pi-angan na pod ug balik si durant

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naa pa koy lingaw. next game thursday na pod. pero lisod gihapon ang warriors. kaduha pildihon ang toronto

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warriors 106   raptors 105

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Next Game

Thursday, Jun. 13, 2019 • 9:00 PM ET
ORACLE Arena • Oakland, CA

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game 6 karong gabii. maka abot pa kaha ug game 7. mahibaw-an nato ang tubag unyang gabii

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OAKLAND, Calif. — The official closing of Oracle Arena and the official haunting end to Kevin Durant’s season normally would be enough to occupy anyone’s deep thoughts in the Bay Area because both, in their own way, defined an era of Warriors basketball and became beloved.

Meanwhile, there’s another game to be played in the NBA Finals, and another championship to be won.

And there’s only one way to extend the former and accomplish the latter: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson must be at their splashiest, or else.

The margin for error in this series for the Warriors is now as thin as their odds of capturing it. They’re playing against a healthier team and a star who knows how to succeed in June. They’ve lost two straight at home to Toronto in the series and are 2-5 overall against the Raptors this season.

And aside from Curry and Thompson, who are averaging 57.4 points in The Finals, the Warriors are getting mixed results at best from a number of players who normally would be supportive, but aren’t.

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So, a pattern has been established and a blueprint has been issued. Curry and Thompson must fight the double teams coming their way, and shoot with efficiency, and save enough energy for defense, and conserve enough wind to rescue the Warriors with big shots should the game be tight down the stretch … and then do it all over again in a Game 7 if they’re fortunate to get that far.

“They’ve done that since they’ve been here,” Shaun Livingston said. “That’s nothing to them.”

These are tenuous times for the Warriors, who’ll take a swirl of emotions into Game 6. Occupying a segment of their concentration is Durant, who underwent surgery Wednesday morning in New York for the Achilles he ruptured in Game 5. Durant is spoken about in somber terms within the organization, everyone realizing the sacrifice he made to return to action after a month off, and the risk he took with his body and by extension his future. The issue of basketball never comes up in conversation, meaning the Warriors are far more concerned with Durant’s recovery than what they’re missing with him off the floor.

There’s also the controversial angle with Durant and what amount the Warriors were culpable, or not, regarding his injury. Two days after team president Bob Myers fought tears and accepted blame, coach Steve Kerr was the answer man Wednesday and tried to make sense of the entire ordeal.

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“Obviously, everyone feels horrible about what happened,” Kerr said. “Kevin checked all the boxes and he was cleared by everyone involved. Now, would we go back and do it all over again? Damn right. But that’s easy to say after the results ... our feeling was the worst thing that could happen was a re-injury of the calf. So the Achilles came as a complete shock.”

Durant hasn’t spoken to the media since the injury, and in his limited social media reaction both before and after surgery, he didn’t point fingers. His mother, Wanda Durant, also dodged the issue of blame when she went on Good Morning America to discuss her son; her anger instead was directed at critics who initially questioned his injury and fans who cheered his re-injury.

Durant has shown support for his teammates almost immediately after he left the team. The relationship between Durant and the front office, on the other hand, remains murky, though not for long; it’ll be revealed in a few weeks at the latest, when Durant reaches free agency and determines his future.

In the meantime, the fate of the Warriors hinges heavily on their ability to replace what Durant offered. And much of that burden falls on a backcourt that spooked the Raptors late in Game 5 and will be pressed to duplicate and triplicate that in the next two games, if the second one is necessary.



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