The Golden State Warriors refuse to die. Overcoming injuries and heartbreak, the defending champs have managed to stay alive in the 2019 NBA Finals, forcing a Game 6 at Oracle Arena Thursday night.

The Toronto Raptors seemed certain to clinch their first-ever title when they took a six-point lead late in Game 5, fewer than two hours after Kevin Durant suffered an apparent Achilles injury. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had other ideas, hitting some of the biggest shots you will ever see in an elimination game and pulling Golden State to within 3-2 in the series.

It’s a minor miracle that the Warriors have been able to keep their dynasty alive for this long. The Raptors have been the far better team, being outscored in just four of the series’ 20 quarters.

Golden State held onto their Game 2 lead in the fourth quarter when Thompson was nursing a strained hamstring in the locker room and Curry was held scoreless. In Game 5, the Warriors somehow overcame Kawhi Leonard’s 12 points in a three-minute span while their superstar was on his way to the hospital.

Toronto’s three victories were all relatively easy. The Raptors outscored the Warriors 346-310 in Game 1, Game 3 and Game 4, winning each contest by at least nine points. In the two games at Oracle Arena, Toronto had a double-digit lead for nearly 23 of the 24 fourth-quarter minutes.

The Raptors have proven to be a better team than the Warriors when Durant isn’t playing. Led by the greatest shooter of all time and years of championship experience, Golden State has given themselves a shot to steal a title the way few teams in history would have been able to do.

That’s why it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see them win at home in Game 6 and force a Game 7. Golden State is a 2.5-point betting favorite Thursday night, per OddsShark.

Kawhi Leonard Klay Thompson Raptors Warriors Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors is defended by Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors in the second quarter during Game One of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on May 30, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Blowing that lead Monday night after Durant was long gone from the game was a devastating loss for the Raptors, but it’s hard to believe Toronto can’t recover from such a defeat, considering the way they’ve competed all postseason long.

Leonard has been the biggest reason the Raptors have persevered through adversity in the playoffs. Toronto faced a series deficit in all three rounds before the finals. Each time, the Raptors went on to advance because Leonard was far and away the best player in the series.

With Durant done for the season, there’s no question that Leonard is the top player in the finals. He scored 66 points in the two wins at Oracle Arena last week. Leonard would’ve secured the Finals MVP award Monday if it weren’t for the late threes made by Curry and Thompson.

Leonard will need a little more help than he received in Game 5. Pascal Siakam had his second bad performance of the finals, and Danny Green only had four points on seven shots.

Toronto’s role players have outperformed Golden State throughout the series. There’s a good chance that will be the case again Thursday with Durant’s minutes going back to the likes of Alfonzo McKinnie or Jonas Jerebko.

DeMarcus Cousins had more good moments than Siakam in Game 5. Don’t expect that to happen again in Game 6.

If Leonard and Toronto’s defense is as good as they’ve been all postseason, the series shouldn’t return to Canda.

Game 6 Prediction: Toronto over Golden State, 107-103