Cavs Stave Off Elimination; Guarantee Game 6
Things weren’t looking good for the Cleveland Cavaliers after Game 4.
The team stood a shot at coming back if they had been able to tie the series at two-all, but an MVP performance by the MVP himself, Steph Curry, put a stop to that dream.
With that 108-97 Game 4 loss at home, the Cavs had their backs to the wall, down 3-1, heading back to Oakland.
This presented two challenges:
- Not only would the Cavs have to defeat the Warriors at Oracle Arena twice, something done only three times in the regular season and post-season combined, but
- They'd also have to overcome history and be the first team to come back from 3-1 in the NBA Finals.
However, just when all hope seemed lost, the Cavs were given a gift from the gods.
To be specific, the Cavs got a gift from the 'god' of the NBA, Commissioner Adam Silver.
After reviewing Draymond Green’s third nard shot of the NBA playoffs -- the most recent recipient being LeBron James -- the league office decided Green had gone a knee too far.
Call it justice. Call it the league trying to expand the series. Or simply call it one more fan at an A's game.
After all, somebody had to keep company with Marshawn Lynch.
Any which way, dude wasn’t going to be there in a possible Finals-clinching game.
While the part that Green plays in the Warriors success cannot be understated, there was still a heavy sentiment that the Warriors were going to bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy home at home.
But, there's a reason they play the game. And the Cavs came out to play on Monday night.
Cleveland received a combined 82-point performance from the best No 1 picks in their history, both of whom dropped 41, an NBA Finals record 41. In addition to raining buckets, James pulled in 16 rebounds and Kyrie Irving dropped six assists in the Cavs' 112-97 victory.
Besides missing Green, the Dubs were hampered by a knee sprain to Andrew Bogut in the third quarter, forcing them to go with a small lineup.
While the Cavs had Tristian Thompson and LeBron grabbing boards and abusing the paint, Golden State was basically playing Harrison Barnes at the center position. A 37- and 25-point night from Klay Thompson and Steph Curry respectively didn't mask this weakness, as the Cavs pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Assuredly, the Dubs are more than bummed they weren’t able to clinch at home, but the series is still most likely in hand for them.
We know Cleveland -- like Golden State -- is a dominant home team, but that didn’t stop the defending champs in Game 4, or even for last year’s finale in Game 6.
With Green returning, as well as the fact that the Cavs' No 3, Kevin Love, is still an outsider in Cleveland, the Warriors are still even-odds to finish up their historic season in Game 6.
So tune in Thu 16 Jun and see if that high-five ever gets completed.
Among other things.