No more: epic triumph of the Warriors losing Durant

The champion is allowed to overcome 20 points and reacts in a last wild quarter, without Durant. The Rockets lose a golden opportunity.


In the third quarter, in full assault of the Rockets by land, sea and air, fell Kevin Durant. He did it with a suspension to put the 68-65, in what seemed the penultimate breath of the Warriors. On the right flank, he rose to Shumpert with his usual graciousness and, after falling, looked at his leg with surprise, as if it were not his, and began to limp. He went to the locker room: injury in the area of the Achilles tendon, without contact and falling in a jump ... a priori gloomy forecast for his team and also for him because, although he will finally be left alone in a muscular injury, problem in line with the worst initial omens would have altered not only this season but even the summer market, in which some already see Durant in New York while the Warriors, so accustomed so far (and almost always by its merits) to all they go well, they resist to lose the MVP of the last two Finals and to which he was being his best player of these playoffs: one of the best scorers of the history in one of the best moments of his history.

A the Warriors, this time, nothing is going too well. But they would do wrong to forget that many of their wounds have been inflicted on themselves, unable to sustain their own excellence. Packed and bored in another endless season of 82 games, have been succumbing to all the vices of those who have full belly. It's no accident: since the Bill Russell Celtics nobody has played five Finals in a row. The challenge, although it may not seem like it because it has been a team capable of everything (literally) in recent years, is huge. Then DeMarcus Cousins fell in the first round, then Stephen Curry's finger was damaged and now, finally, Kevin Durant has also fallen in a conference semifinal in which he was playing 45 minutes on average and in which he has almost impossible to return: the sixth game is played tomorrow, in Houston, and the seventh would be Sunday, back (maybe for the last time) in the Oracle Arena.

One thousand matches in one and a dramatic resolution

In an epic, exhausting and absolutely monstrous series until Now, the fourth in history in which the first five games have been resolved by six points or less, this fifth encounter (crucial because it was 2-2) was tremendous, lacerating, with brilliant and other horrifying sections: pure playoffs, pure basketball. The Warriors went from retake the inertia of the start of the tie and raze (reached the +20 in the first part: 57-37 shortly before the break) to shipwreck pitifully: 68-69 just before the close of the third set, and without Kevin Durant. Then, when it seemed (72-72) that we were about to witness the last NBA basketball quarter at the Oracle Arena, the Warriors took out the war paintings and the champion spirit. And there will be, in the worst case for them, seventh game if the Rockets, would be in fact a sin before the almost certain loss of Durant, do not fail in their track and force the decisive duel, which would repeat the script a year ago. Then they fell in Houston without Chris Paul, this time the Warriors would have to defend, by fire and without Kevin Durant, that Oracle that vanishes at the door of the transfer to San Francisco.

But that wild access of pride and anger of the Last quarter he discovered a team that, even if only in moments of maximum need, is still there. The partial of the last quarter was 32-27 after the 15-29 of the third and when everything seemed in favor of the visitors. James Harden (31 + 4 + 8) only threw three times in those twelve minutes in which the Warriors passed of losing 75-77 to win 97-89 before an agonizing and confusing end that left the triumph in the Bay. The defense was unleashed, led by a burning Draymond Green and with the appearance of a key Looney Kevon on the two boards. Iguodala, hobbled, pushed to the finish line and the Splash Brothers appeared just in time: Klay Thompson, in his best game of the long series, scored the triple of 97-89 and the deciding basket. He finished with 27 points. And Stephen Curry, the disappeared, went from three quarters again horrendous (6/16 in shots, 1/8 in triples) to one last exciting in which he added 12 points and gave 3 assists, he got two of the three triples he threw , loaded with the equipment in attack and arrived until a 25 + 6 + 5 that was, this time, much more than numbers. Just in time and while the Rockets disappeared in a strange gibberish: exhausted, without ideas and surpassed by the intensity of his rival surely when, after the injury of Durant and after tracing 20 points, they had it easier and more to shot they felt it.

D'Antoni's team, an expert in surviving, let out a silver bullet and lost in a game in which onlyHe did well in the third quarter ... and it was almost enough. Now he has to win two straight to the Warriors but he just did it and, of course, the loss of Durant balances the weight of the court factor in a hypothetical seventh. Because everything that is not that, finally hunting for a rival that has been his intimate Moby Dick in the last five years, an obsession as a way of life, will make him return again and again during the summer to this last room in which he did not equal the fury of a wounded enemy, who felt mistreated by the destination and right there he found the energy he had been looking for for days. Maybe the whole season. Now the tests will come to KD and the sixth game with another trip and without rest for anyone: no more. Literally. The Rockets are where the Warriors were a year ago: 2-3, with the seventh at home if forced and a devastating loss in his rival. We will see if history repeats itself and this time it smiles at them because, if you have to judge only by the end of this fifth game, the champion will sell his skin very dearly. Until the end: it's not going over.



Photos from as.com

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