The Golden State Warriors lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night, but they did not blame the loss on playing the game without one of their biggest weapons.
Draymond Green was suspended for the game after being assessed a flagrant foul 1 for hitting LeBron James in the groin during Game 4. Teammate Klay Thompson said Green’s presence was missed, but that his absence did not account for the Warriors’ 112–97 loss.
“Draymond does a little bit of everything,” Thompson said, according to ESPN. “Obviously his playmaking, his communication, and his heart and soul. It’s not an excuse, though.”
Green will be able to return for Game 6 on Thursday, but coach Steve Kerr said “it’s too simple to say that” there wouldn’t be a Game 6 if Green had played on Monday night.
“We weren’t very good defensively,” Kerr said. “We knew we were without Draymond, so there’s no point in harping on that. We had to play better, and we didn’t.”
The Cavaliers will host the Warriors for Game 6 on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, with the Warriors still leading the series, 3–2.