Roye: Warriors' Locker Room "Somber" Despite Win

The Warriors won Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday but lost Kevin Durant in the process

Zach Gelb
June 11, 2019 - 9:03 am
Kevin Durant Injury Game 5 NBA Finals

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The Golden State Warriors won Game 5 of the NBA Finals, 106-105, in Toronto on Monday to force a Game 6 and extend their season.

You wouldn’t have thought that walking into their locker room after the game.

“You would expect going into the Warrior locker room that it would have been raucous and rowdy,” Warriors play-by-play voice Tim Roye said on The Zach Gelb Show. “But it was a little somber because they know that Kevin is out. That took away a little of the glow of this one.”

Indeed, Durant, who missed over a month with a calf injury, may have torn his Achilles in the second quarter.

“It’s really heartbreaking,” Roye said. “To see a guy who worked that hard – he is maniacal about his work. He puts in so much work, gets up so many shots – he really outworks a lot of other great players just by putting in this extra time. To me, the thought process of him not wanting to play was absurd. He’s a competitor. The whole narrative was really weird to me. . . . But an Achilles is one of those injuries that nobody can really predict because there’s no rhyme or reason to it. It just goes. For Kevin, it’s just heartbreaking.”

The Warriors led for most of the game but found themselves trailing late in the fourth quarter. They wouldn’t, however, let their dynasty come to an end.

“They just have this knack – the old great quote from Rudy Tomjanovich – the heart of a champion,” Roye said. “They have that. They have that championship mettle. I know there’s a lot of people around the country that are Warrior-fatigued. They’re tired of seeing the Warriors on top, they’re tired of having their team lose to the Warriors – and I understand that, believe me. The Warriors were that team that lost forever, and I was right in the middle of all that. And so, I get it. But I got to tell you: the way they fought back in that game and still had the confidence to take the shots when they needed to – the Splash Brothers really showed me something tonight.”

Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 12 three-pointers and 57 points. As a team, Golden State shot a blistering 20-of-42 (47.6 percent) from deep. The Raptors, meanwhile, shot just 8-of-32 (25 percent), but still had a chance to win, as Kawhi Leonard took over late in the fourth quarter.

“When Kawhi took over, for about a five-minute stretch there I don’t think there was anybody on the planet that can stop him,” Roye said. “The Warriors’ nemesis during this whole thing has been LeBron James and Cleveland. The Warriors have had strategies and players that could make him work hard and slow down. At times, it’s really hard to find that guy for Kawhi because he’s so good and so strong.

“But I think it’s going to go down as one of the best NBA Finals games of all time,” Roye said of Game 5. “When you consider all the circumstances and the drama of it and how it ended and with the injury – I think it’s going to go down as a classic.”

Game 6 is Thursday in Oakland at 9 p.m. ET.