Warriors at history’s brink after Game 5 win
The Golden State Warriors are one win away from glory.
After a 104-91 Game 5 victory Sunday, the Warriors lead the Cavaliers 3-2 in the NBA Finals and only need to win one more game to become NBA Champions.
Stephen Curry told SFBay he wants to win really bad but is trying to stay calm, while maintaining a sense of urgency:
“We’re confident. We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. The locker room was the exact same as after a regular season win. But we know the sense of urgency of the moment.”
Curry finally had an MVP night during the Finals on a 37-point, seven-rebound performance Sunday, hitting the dagger shot with 1:22 on the clock for an 11-point lead from 29 feet out.
After the post-game media availability, Curry was treated for dehydration but the team said there is no concern about him not being able to play in Game 6.
LeBron James nearly logged his triple-double by halftime with 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, having scored or assisted all but one of the Cavaliers made field goals.
Getting back to scoring in transition, the Warriors held the edge at the half with double-digit outings from Curry and Draymond Green along with a second-quarter spark from Leandro Barbosa. But it was only a one-point edge as Golden State started the third quarter 51-50.
The Warriors managed to pull ahead in the third, nearly shutting down every Cleveland player outside of Tristan Thompson.
Though Golden State would start the final frame with a six-point lead, it also started with foul trouble looming. Klay Thompson picked up his third and fourth fouls midway through the third, forcing Warriors head coach Steve Kerr to sideline Thompson sooner than expected in a close game.
Barbosa continued to help out from the bench, and Harrison Barnes showed authority with his second posterizing dunk of the game — the first one on the king himself.
Tied at 75-75 the lead changed hands and tied four more times as James hit from 34 feet deep, then Curry and Thompson followed by hitting from downtown.
Leading 86-84 the Warriors pulled ahead with Iguodala hitting a three. Then after a three attempt from Thomspon on a steal by Curry, Iguodala’s putback gave the Warriors a seven-point lead.
Curry hit again from deep for the Warriors first double-digit lead of the night.
James continued to sink contested shots, finishing the night with 40 points, 11 assists and 14 rebounds. But more apparent than ever was the Cavaliers’ lack of help for James with Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and Anderson Verejao sidelined with injuries.
Cavaliers coach David Blatt said James is giving everything he can and he can’t expect anything more:
“LeBron has been, tremendous is even an understatement for how he’s played in the series. He had another one of those days today. Under the current set of circumstances, that’s what we’ve got to get and he’s bringing it … Should I expect more that 40 and a triple-double?”
Curry on the other hand was complemented from every direction, with Iguodala, Green, Thompson and Barbosa all logging double-digit points.
Staying true to the Warriors playoff motto ‘Strength in Numbers,’ Curry said contributions from the role players is going to make the difference in the end:
“That’s been our calling card all year. Whoever steps on the floor is going to give us something…So everybody’s got to be ready. I think that will hopefully give us a good chance to win in Game 6.”
Leading the series 3-2 the Warriors head to Cleveland for Game 6 on Tuesday and Game 7 (if necessary) back at Oracle. In NBA history the Game 5 winner in a 2-2 Finals has won the series 20 of 28 times.
Tonight’s game saw 20 lead changes, a high for any Warriors game during the 2015 Playoffs, and 10 ties. … The Warriors improved to 58-0 this season when leading by at least 15 points at any point during the game. … Stephen Curry scored a team-high 37 points, the most points by a Warriors in the NBA Finals since Rick Barry scored 38 points on May 23, 1975 vs. Washington. Curry is the first payer in NBA Finals history to hit at least seven threes in multiple games in a single Finals series, connecting on 7-of-13 from distance. … Draymond Green had 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists, becoming the third player in franchise history to grab at least 200 boards in a single postseason (Wilt Chamberlain and Nate Thurmond). … LeBron James recorded his sixth career triple-double in the NBA Finals (second this series) with 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, the 14th triple-double of his postseason career. … Per ESPN Stats & Info, James joined Jerry West as the only players in NBA Finals history to score at least 40 points in a triple-double.