Cleveland At Golden State
When: 9:00 PM
ET, Monday, June 12, 2017
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
The Cleveland Cavaliers avoided the sweep and aim to remain alive again on Monday when they visit the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. The Cavaliers rolled to an impressive 137-116 victory in Game 4 when they drained a Finals' record 24 3-pointers and badly outplayed Golden State.
Cleveland exposed the Warriors' defense with Finals' records for first-quarter points (49) and halftime points (86) and received a sensational offensive performance from point guard Kyrie Irving. "The magnitude of the games, especially the last game, it hit me in a very deep place," Irving said after his 40-point performance. "Just you want to play extremely well and you understand that's a do-or-die game." Golden State blew a 3-1 series lead while losing to the Cavaliers in last season's Finals but continue to say it is a different team - one that won its first 15 postseason games prior to being spanked on Friday. "I don't think there was any concern or thoughts about history," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. "I think it was we played a desperate team on their home floor, a great team, with great players, and they came out and handed it to us. Simple as that."
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ABC
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS: Irving is averaging 39 points over the past two games and 30.3 for the series as he continues to raise his growing reputation as a big-time player. "He's just been built for that moment," Cleveland star forward LeBron James told reporters. "I said that over and over again - that he's always been built for the biggest moments, and he showed that once again. It's not surprising. He's just that special." James isn't doing so bad himself with averages of 31.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 10.5 assists and he posted his ninth career playoff triple-double in Game 4 to break a tie with legendary Magic Johnson for most all-time.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Forward Draymond Green's absence in Game 5 of last season's Finals due to his accumulation of technical fouls helped fuel Cleveland's comeback but Green says the situation is different this season as the reminders increase. "I'm sure that's just the world we live in," Green told reporters. "But we were up 3-0 (this year). We weren't up 3-0 last year. So, it's a little different. And at the end of the day, the series is a little different. Thank God I get to play in Game 5." Green's offense has been much quieter than his vocal cords as he is averaging 11.3 points on just 35.6 percent shooting to go along with 9.8 rebounds per game.
1. Warriors SF Kevin Durant has topped 30 points in all four games and is averaging 34.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in the series.
2. Cleveland PF Kevin Love, who is averaging 18.5 points in the series, made 6-of-8 3-pointers in Game 4 after being 3-of-14 over the previous two contests.
3. Golden State PG Stephen Curry is averaging 25 points in the Finals but had just 14 on 4-of-13 shooting in Game 4.
PREDICTION: Warriors 121, Cavaliers 115
Stats and Records
Golden State Off vs
116.3 Points For
107.1 Points Against