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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 12:00 AM


Go ahead ... tell us an NBA Finals game in your lifetime that's been dissected more than this Game 5 clash between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors.

Heck, this one's a "Monday morning quarterback" special for sure considering the season-ending injury to G-State's Kevin Durant - we told you it was an Achilles Heel injury for weeks now, right? - the faux time out called in the game's final three-plus minutes by Toronto's first-year head coach Nick Nurse and the epic comeback by the two-time defending champion Warriors whose 9-2 scoring run late won 'em this thriller contest 106-105 North of the Border.

Geez, and we didn't even mention the Las Vegas pointspread / line movement: For the record, we marked Warriors at Raptors in Game 5 as a Pick 'Em for our closing line but we also did a little research and learned some casinos listed the closing price at Warriors at - 1.5 points, Warriors minus a point, Raptors -1 and Raptors minus 1.5 points ... simply put, you either cashed or trashed in Game 5 depending on when you played it and where you played it but keep in mind earlier in the day the price tag was Toronto minus 3 points (the number when we gave our pro-Warriors play earlier in the day).

Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you NBA Finals winners continuing with Thursday night's Game 6 bash between the Toronto Raptors at the Golden State Warriors. Get the Sides & Totals for Game 6 plus get all the Major-League Baseball winners too when you check with us right here game days at 1-800-323-4453.


On Monday night, it was ...GOLDEN STATE 106, TORONTO 105 - Raptors lead series 3-2 / Game 5 is Thursday at 9:07 p.m. ET, ABC

As previously mentioned, the Warriors survived and advanced to Thursday's Game 6 of this year's wacky NBA Finals despite the fact megastar Durant (11 points in 11 minutes of game action and Golden State was a plus 6 when K.D. was in action) didn't last too long - his impact on the upcoming free agent class remains a $64,000 question left for another day - but the bottom line is Durant canned all three of his three-point attempts and overall the Dubs banged home 20-of-42 triple makes while the Raptors shot a meek 8-of-32 beyond the arc.

Go ahead and ridicule Toronto boss Nurse - heck, he deserves the scathing criticism after he stalled his own club's momentum (up 103-97 with three-plus minutes left only to see Golden State reel off a 9-2 scoring run at the end) - but you better be sure that three-point shooting was the key here as Golden State's Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry bagged a combined three trifectas late to force a Game 6.

Hey, how is Toronto supposed to win an apparent title-clinching game when outscored by 36 POINTS from 3-land and, come to think of it, did the North-of-the-Border crew even deserve to win Game 5 when you realize the team's starting five shot a combined 5-of-24 from deep ... Danny Green and Pascal Siakam went a combined 0-for-8 from beyond the arc and just a single make here or two would have basically crippled Golden State's comeback hopes.

Truth is Golden State botched a first-half twin-figure lead but committed an array of unforced turnovers that allowed Toronto to stay in the hunt - yes, the Raptors' Kawhi Leonard was his usual self with 26 points / 12 rebounds / 6 assists in 41 minutes of action and he did the right thing to find an open shooter when double-teamed near the top of the key in the game's closing moments but bad fouls by reserve Fred VanVleet, poor ball movement for much of the time by Toronto (just 19 assists on 38 made buckets) and the ill-fated Nurse time out all pretty much conspired to doom Toronto to a Game 5 loss and - very possibly - cost 'em a first-ever NBA championship after 24 years in the league.

Here's the 2019 NBA Finals game-by-game results between the Raptors and the Warriors. Note home teams are in CAPS below:

5-30TORONTO- 1.5Golden St118-109
6-2Golden St+ 2TORONTO109-104
6- 5Toronto+ 2.5GOLDEN ST123-109
6-7Toronto+ 5GOLDEN ST105-92
6-10Golden StPKTORONTO106-105


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