Stephen Curry scored a playoff career-high 47 points in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night, but it still was not enough to defeat the Toronto Raptors, who held off Curry's one-man show for a 123-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
The Raptors' win at Oracle Arena gave them a 2-1 series lead. Teams who win Game 3 on the road in a 1-1 series are 19-2 in the NBA Finals, so the odds have suddenly swung into Toronto's favor.
Yet the Warriors should not hit the panic button just yet.
Reinforcements could be on the way for Game 4 on Friday night in the form of Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant.
Thompson, who injured his hamstring in Game 2, was a game-time decision for Wednesday's matchup and lobbied to play. But head coach Steve Kerr decided it was in Thompson's best interest to sit out and prevent further injury.
"Never would have forgiven myself if I played him tonight and he had gotten hurt," Kerr told reporters. "So you live with the decision you make, you make a wise decision, the wisest one you can, and then you live with it and move forward. So the good thing is, Klay has done well the last two days. Now he has a couple more days to heal, and hopefully he'll be out there on Friday."
Thompson's return alone may be enough help for Curry and the Warriors to even the series back at two games apiece, but there is the possibility Durant could be back, too.
The Warriors are cautiously optimistic about Durant, who has been out since May 8 due to a calf strain, and will have him participate in a 3-on-3 scrimmage in Thursday's practice to see where he stands, according to Kerr.
Even if Durant does not return, Draymond Green — whose 17 points were second-most on the Warriors in Game 3 — believes the team is battled-tested enough to overcome the injuries.
"We've got a lot of experience," he told ESPN. "We've been in every situation possible, so no need to panic."
By John Healy