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De'Aaron Fox injury reason for Warriors' Game 5 win, Skip Bayless claims

Skip claims Fox injury the only reason for Warriors' Game 5 win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Several Warriors players stepped up in a pivotal Game 5 win on Wednesday as the defending NBA champions pulled out a much-needed road victory against the Kings at Golden 1 Center.

Four Golden State players finished with 20 or more points, leading to a 123-116 win that gave the team its first lead in the best-of-seven first-round playoff series.

But one NBA pundit doesn’t believe any of that played a factor in the Warriors’ win.

“There’s only one reason that Golden State won last night,” FOX Sports’ Skip Bayless said on “Undisputed” on Thursday morning. “And it was because in Game 4, unfortunately, De’Aaron Fox fractured his index finger on his left shooting hand. Period. End of story.”

Fox originally was listed as doubtful for Game 5 with an avulsion fracture of his left index finger that he sustained in Sacramento's Game 4 loss at Chase Center. After adjusting to a splint on his injured finger and with the approval of the team, Fox played through the injury and looked solid as ever in the game. At first.

In the opening quarter, the 25-year-old point guard grabbed a rebound 32 seconds into the contest and had nine points, two boards and three assists in the first quarter alone. Broken finger and all.

Eventually, though, Fox’s injury became more apparent.

“He tried a couple of drive shots, and they were just slapping his hand, slapping his hand, which that’s just the way the game is played,” Bayless continued. “He didn’t like it, he was shaking it and from that point on, after he made his third 3 in the game, which was 4:11 left in the first quarter, from that point on, he shot 6 of 21 and 0 of 7 from 3-point range.

“It’s just hard at home to overcome that because he’s your best player, and then we get to the fourth quarter, where he was the best statistical clutch player in the fourth quarter in the NBA this year. Guess what he did last night? He was 0 for 6 in the fourth quarter. He was 0 for 2 from 3. It won’t work.”

And for the Kings, it didn't.

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The series now will head back to Chase Center where the Warriors' home court has been kind to the defending champs. Golden State will get a chance to end the Kings' season and advance to the Western Conference semifinals against the winner of the Los Angeles Lakers-Memphis Grizzlies series.

Given Fox's injury, Bayless predicts that likely will end up happening.

"He’s the reason you got there, and he’s the reason you’re going to exit stage left when you go back to San Francisco Friday for Game 6," he said. "They will get closed out because he’s not right and he knows he’s not right and more importantly, his teammates know he’s not right."

The Kings have proven a lot of people wrong this season, but so have the Warriors over the last decade. It'll come down to Game 6, and thankfully, fans don't have to wait much longer.