NBA·NBA FINALS

Raptors remain all business ahead of what could be historic victory

The Toronto Raptors are one win away from their first NBA Championship in franchise history. But don't tell the players that.

Warriors' Kevin Durant cleared to return to practice ahead of Game 5

Toronto's Kawhi Leonard drives to the basket during the second half of the Raptors' 105-92 Game 4 win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Toronto Raptors are one win away from the first NBA Championship in franchise history.

But don't tell the players that.

At a news conference on Sunday, Raptors coach Nick Nurse and veteran point guard Kyle Lowry said the team's focus heading into Monday's Game 5 of the NBA Finals is: "We haven't done anything yet."

One of the secrets to Toronto's success in this historic playoff run, they say, is their ability to remain level-headed.

Part of that mentality comes from their unflappable superstar Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard hasn't purchased property...yet

Leonard says he has not purchased a home in Toronto.

A report surfaced last week that the player, who becomes a free agent next month, had bought a house in the city.

WATCH | Kawhi Leonard says he hasn't purchased Toronto property, yet:

Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard responds to speculation that he's purchased property in Toronto. 0:14

"No, it didn't. It didn't happen yet, no," Leonard said Saturday.

Raptors fans had hoped it was a clue that Leonard planned to re-sign with the Raptors during free agency.

The Raptors acquired Leonard from San Antonio in last summer's blockbuster trade that saw DeMar DeRozan go to the Spurs.

WATCH | Lowry answers kid reporter's unique question:

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry is asked how it feels to be an icon across Canada. 0:39

The Raptors can win their first NBA Championship in franchise history with a victory over Golden State on Monday at Scotiabank Arena.

The Raptors were back home Sunday after winning twice at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. They've won seven of their last eight post-season games.

Durant cleared for practice

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors say Kevin Durant will practice Sunday with hopes of playing on Monday night.

As of Sunday night, Durant was listed as "questionable" for Game 5 on the official NBA injury report.

Durant has not played since straining a calf muscle on May 8. The Warriors trail the Toronto Raptors 3-1 in the title series, and are 6-3 since he got injured.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr says Durant will get some work in against the team's younger players. The team will assess how Durant feels afterward and it's unclear if a final determination will be made on his availability for Game 5 before Monday.

WATCH | Kerr hopeful Durant can play in Game 5:

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr updates the status of Kevin Durant a day before Game 5 of the NBA Finals. 0:33

Durant was injured during Game 5 of the Warriors' Western Conference semifinal series against the Houston Rockets.

The Warriors are 6-3 in the nine games Durant has missed.

"It's just having another powerful weapon out there who can do some very dynamic things on the floor," Warriors guard Stephen Curry said.

Kerr said the plan was to see if Durant could clear some hurdles that he hasn't crossed during his recovery. Kerr said earlier in the series that Durant could return after completing one practice.

"He will be very welcomed, I'll tell you that much," Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. "I think it's pretty easy to realize we obviously miss him out there. He's propelled us to two championships in the last two years, so it'd be pretty storybook if he comes back and helps us do the same. ... I know how badly he wants to be out there. He's one of the best competitors I've ever been around."

Toronto allowed Kobe Bryant to score 81 points on Jan. 22, 2006. In the 1,175 Raptors games since, the most anyone has scored against them is 51 points — done twice, done both times in Toronto, and done both times by Durant.

He had 51 for Oklahoma City in Toronto on March 21, 2014, and scored 51 for the Warriors on the Raptors' home floor back on Nov. 29. Even if he isn't 100%, Durant's mere presence should make the Warriors more potent on the offensive end.

The Raptors will have a plan, of course, if Durant gets on the floor Monday night.

"If he plays, he's an MVP, he's an All-NBA player, he's an All-Star, Finals MVP," Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said. "But we can't focus on that. We have to focus on ourselves."

With files from The Associated Press

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.