When it looked like it was all but over for the Golden State Warriors, they kept their magical season alive for at least one more night. After two losses for a combined 52 points in Oklahoma City that Steve Kerr called embarrassing, the Warriors calmed the storm and kept the Thunder away from the NBA Finals with a win at Oracle Arena. A nine point win for the Warriors might have covered the spread, but it didn't provide enough evidence that the team can go out on the road and win in a hostile environment. The Thunder absolutely dominated their two home games while the Warriors let a 14 point lead slip in Game 1 and had Stephen Curry go on an infamous run to save them in Game 2.
Kevin Durant dropped a quiet 40 points and Russell Westbrook missed 17 shots while the team had no help from Dion Waiters, Enes Kanter, or Andre Roberson. Anthony Morrow provided a spark in the first half and finished with 10 points and a pair of three-pointers, but it wasn't enough. Steven Adams was in foul trouble early in the game and was never able to play like he did earlier in the series. Or maybe it was because of the 7-foot Aussie on the home side.
Kerr called Andrew Bogut out publicly prior to Game 5 and said that he needs to play smarter because the team needs him out on the court. In the first four games of the series, Bogut had more fouls than points. He delivered in Game 5 with a 15 point, 14 rebound, and 2 block performance. He played 29 minutes and was able to shy away from unnecessary contact near the rim that would have forced the officials to blow the whistle.
"I had four crappy games and tried to have a good fifth one," Bogut said. "Not getting into foul trouble early helped and just trying to be aggressive."
The big question now is if Bogut's play is sustainable. The 31-year-old played limited minutes to start the series due to his foul issues and should be in line for a repeat performance in Oklahoma City. Taking Adams out of the game will be beneficial for the Warriors, especially Draymond Green.
As usual, Green was vocal in his postgame presser. He revealed that he spoke to Kobe Bryant on the phone the day before the game and he took everything the Black Mamba said to heart. Other notable players such as Nate Robinson, Matt Barnes, and Glen Davis contacted Green after his miserable performances at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The versatile forward finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocked shots. It was the most rebounds and blocks he's had in this series. Two of the rejections were on Russell Westbrook near the rim. Green had two turnovers in the first quarter and didn't commit another one in the game. This is an extremely good sign for a player who's had various struggles against the Thunder defense and 10 combined turnovers on the road in this series.
Marreese Speights played well off the bench in the biggest must-win game the Warriors have had in the past two seasons. The fan favorite gave the team 14 points in just 8 minutes.
The Warriors are now 9-0 when they score 110 points or more in the postseason. However, they're 1-5 when they score less than that. They didn't score that in Oklahoma City and the Thunder hope to keep it that way for Game 6. Stephen Curry and his fellow All-Stars will need to match the effort of Durant and Westbrook as they attempt to reach the NBA Finals for the first time since 2012. Cancel your plans, Saturday night will be an instant classic.