The NBA Finals shifted to Cleveland after the first two blowouts in Oracle Arena where the Golden State Warriors won by a 41 point differential and had a 2-0 lead. Many thought that the Cavaliers would rebound and make this a series by winning game 3.
Game 3 came and Warriors go on an 11-0 run in clutch-time with Kevin Durant delivering the final dagger, a three pointer to put them up for good with 42 seconds remaining. It was at that moment when everybody thought that this turn into a series sweep. No team has ever come back from down 3-0, and certainly playing this elite Warriors team doesn’t make the impossible task any easier.
The Cleveland Cavaliers did not give up though. They have a group of guys who embrace adversity and readily accept the challenge, playing their best basketball when their back is against the wall and Saturday night was no different. The Cavs came in and got work done right from the start scoring an NBA Finals Record 49 points in the first quarter, and setting an NBA Finals record for most threes made in a game with 24.
It was a scoring clinic as the Cavs’ big three combined for 94 points: Kyrie Irving with 40, Lebron James with a 31/10/10 game and Kevin Love chipping in with 23 points on 6 made threes. Other role players came in huge as JR Smith set the tone early with a couple of threes to get the crowd going in the first quarter.
Tristan Thompson had a great game as well, scoring just 5 points but grabbing 4 crucial offensive rebounds and 10 rebounds in total for the game. Richard Jefferson did a good job slowing down Kevin Durant as he shot 9/22 from the field.
As magnificent as Kyrie Irving and LeBron James played Saturday night, it was a team’s effort that forced a game 5 with their season on the line.
The NBA Finals just took an exciting turn, for all we know the Warriors could finish this off in Oracle on Monday capping off their great post season record of what would be 16-1. But the Cavs got the win they needed, boosting their confidence going to the bay area for game 5 looking to keep their hopes of extending the series and repeating titles alive.
Game 5 of the NBA Finals tips off on Monday June 12th at 9 PM EST on ABC.