The Cleveland Cavaliers extended the series up to Game 6 after beating the Golden State Warriors, 112-97, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night at the Oracle Arena.
Many have predicted that the Game 5 will be the last game of the 2015-16 NBA season. However, the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t let the series be decided that easily. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 82 points combined to extend the series up to Game 6. James scored 41 points, 16 rebounds, and seven assists, and Irving had 41 points on 17-of-24 shooting.
Klay Thompson posted another impressive performance scoring 37 points while his backcourt duo Stephen Curry added 25 points on 8-of-21 shooting. The absence of Draymond Green in Game 5 deeply hurt the Warriors in both ends. The NBA decided to suspend Green after reviewing a video where he was caught hitting LeBron James in the groin.
“I’ve said it all along that [Green] is the best guy in the NBA as far as reading when to help, triple switches and kicking guys out of mismatches, knowing when to go, when not to go,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “He’s an underrated shot-blocker, and he can guard one through five, so that definitely help hurt their defense.”
The Golden State Warriors were forced to play with a small lineup with Andre Iguodala in the place of Draymond Green. Their struggle continued in the third quarter after Andrew Bogut went down and suffered a knee injury. The Cavaliers took advantage of the situation by continuously attacking in the paint. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving fearlessly penetrated the Warriors’ defense and drove to the basket.
“We tried a lot of different things, and nothing seemed to work,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It was one of those nights. But give them credit. They played a great game, and they earned it.”
Now that Game 6 will be going back to Cavaliers’ territory, the Cleveland Cavaliers will surely be more eager to extend the series up to Game 7 and win the championship title. There are no details yet regarding Andrew Bogut’s knee injury but the Warriors center is threatened to miss the rest of the NBA Finals.
Photo courtesy: Erik Drost/Wikimedia Commons
Video courtesy: Youtube/NBA