Title: Raptors can’t close out Warriors as Kevin Durant’s injury casts cloud over championship-chasing energy
Date: June 10, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about a difficult night for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, where the Raptors failed to close out but Kevin Durant’s injury felt far more important.
Scotiabank Arena never felt quite right again after Kevin Durant left injured in the second quarter.
It was an awkward moment, and a difficult one. Durant had clearly pushed hard to make it back with the Warriors down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, and he’d been a major difference maker early. When he committed a turnover and went down injured, the arena initially cheered. Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry, and then Herbie Kuhn on the public address system, implored the fans to change their tone. They did, cheering “K-D” as he left to the locker room. Durant wouldn’t return, leaving the arena on crutches with a walking boot to protect what the team confirmed is an Achilles injury, set for an MRI on Tuesday and almost surely done for the series.
“Well, I don’t think the fans knew the significance of the injury. They kind of just seen he went down,” Lowry said. “In this league we’re all brothers. At the end of the day, we’re all brothers and it’s a small brotherhood and you never want to see a competitor like him go down. You don’t know what the circumstances are. And for me it was just, listen, we don’t want anything to ever happen like that. We don’t know what’s this or that. So I just kind of, we don’t want that type of stuff. And it didn’t change much emotionally. It was just after he went down, and we got on and finished the game.”