1. Costly mistakes created a missed opportunity
The Toronto Raptors played remarkably well in the fourth quarter, for the most part. With 3:28 left in the game, Leonard hit a jump shot to put his team up 103-97. It capped a two-minute stretch in which he individually went on a 10-0 run.
At this point in the game, the roaring fans inside and outside the arena were counting their chicks before they hatched. What followed was a series of costly mistakes that allowed the Warriors the opportunity to take back control of the game. At the 3:05 mark, the Raptors had three timeouts remaining and the Warriors only had one.
Head coach Nick Nurse decided to use of the team’s timeouts to give his team a break. In doing so, he allowed a spent Golden State squad to catch a breather as well. What followed was a game-altering turn of events. The Raptors would shoot 1-for-6 in the last three minutes, including 0-for-3 from beyond the arc. For the Warriors, they shot a perfect 3-for-3 with all of their makes coming from beyond the arc. Golden State outscored Toronto 9-2 the rest of the way.
The Raptors’ only made field goal came off of one of the three turnovers the Dubs committed in the final three minutes. Not having one of Leonard or VanVleet, the two best closers for the team, take the final shot, and to not call a timeout to devise a plan on the final play, was bewildering. Leonard had the hot hand in the fourth, and though Toronto got what appeared to be an open look, it was unfortunate the Raptors were unable to get their superstar a look for himself.
The Raptors lost a close one at home in a big missed opportunity, but still have a commanding 3-2 lead in the series. They will have potentially up to two more games to pull out one more win. The odds are in their favor, and have showed encouraging signs throughout this matchup of being able to go into Oracle Arena and get a win in Game 6.