Cavaliers force Game 7 with home win
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers emphatically denied Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors a chance to repeat as NBA champions in Game 6 of the Finals on Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena in a wire-to-wire 115-101 victory.T...
CLEVELAND - LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers emphatically denied Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors a chance to repeat as NBA champions in Game 6 of the Finals on Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena in a wire-to-wire 115-101 victory.
The Cavaliers forced Game 7 on Sunday at Oracle Arena after trailing the best-of-seven series 3-1, dealing the Warriors their first back-to-back losses this season.
James had 41 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds, four steals, three blocks and one turnover before leaving to a thunderous ovation with 2 minutes, 19 seconds left. He also had 41 points in Game 5.
Curry scored 30 but was escorted to the locker room with 4:22 remaining and the Cavaliers leading 99-77. After being called for his sixth foul going for a steal against James in the backcourt, Curry violently punched at the air in protest in close proximity to James.
Kyrie Irving had 23 points and Tristan Thompson scored 15 points with 16 rebounds.
James was clutch in the biggest moments, scoring or assisting on 27 consecutive points during a critical stretch with the Cavaliers looking stagnant.
But when the game got tight, James scored 18 consecutive Cavaliers points spanning parts of two quarters and kept the Warriors at arm’s length. He had 17 points in the fourth.
Up 13 in the fourth, James swatted away Curry’s lefty layup try with 4:32 to play in the game and barked a few choice words for exclamation on the statement game from Cleveland. The Cavaliers are the first team since 1966 and third in league history to force a seventh game after trailing 3-1.
Curry was called for his fifth foul with 9:09 remaining in the game but a 25-foot 3-pointer two paces in front of Cavs coach Tyronn Lue brought the Warriors’ deficit down to eight, 84-76. Leandro Barbosa banged in a 3 from the corner for the Warriors, but James nailed two from close range and shoveled in a layup on a feed from Irving. That easy lay-in gave James 34 points and the Cavs a 90-79 lead with seven minutes left.
With the Cavaliers content to walk the ball up the court and launch 3-pointers, the Warriors pounced in the third quarter.
Klay Thompson had 25 points and caught fire from the outside with eight points during a Golden State 10-0 run to end the third quarter, splashing in back-to-back 3-pointers and getting the lead down to single digits at 80-71. Thompson had 15 points in the third after scoring seven and going 0 for 7 from 3-point range in the first half.
James and Irving combined for 34 points of Cleveland’s 59 first-half points and shot 12 of 21 from the field to lead the Warriors by 16. Golden State shot 30 percent from the floor and 5 of 21 (23.8 percent) from 3-point range.
The Warriors fell behind by 20 with their lowest-scoring quarter all season in the first. Cleveland built its 31-11 lead by dominating the glass (16-5) and holding the Warriors to 23 percent shooting.