OAKLAND, Calif., Sporting Alert – LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers staved off elimination to force a Game 7 in the NBA Finals, following an 112-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 on Monday night. Box Score
In fact, James and star point guard Kyrie Irving became the first teammates to scored 40 points in the same NBA Finals contest, as the Cavs cut the series deficit to 3-2.
“We’re just happy we got another day. That’s all we can ask for,” James said during an interview after the game.
“We got another day to survive. We’re going to start preparing tonight, start preparing tomorrow and whenever Game 6 is we’ll be ready.”
The four-time MVP finished with 41 points, on 16 of 30 shooting, 16 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and three block shots.
Irving, who went 17 of 24 on shooting from the field and connected on 5 for 7 from 3-pointers, added 41 points and six assists for the Cavaliers, which entered the game trailing 3-1 after losing the first two games of the series and then dropping the last contest at home last week.
Irving was scoring at least 30 points for the third straight game, while James extended his NBA record of grabbing at least one road win in a series to 26 consecutive.
“I’m thankful, but at the same time we wouldn’t be in any position without both of us putting on a performance like this,” Irving said.
“Our guys coming in and just trusting our leadership and doing it for four quarters – that’s what it’s about.”
Tristan Thompson pulled down 15 rebounds in the win for Cleveland.
Klay Thompson scored 37 points on 11 of 20 shooting and hit 6 3-pointers to lead the way for the Warriors, who were hoping to celebrate the NBA Championships at home.
Stephen Curry had 25 points and seven rebounds, by was only 8 of 21 on shooting from the field for Golden State, which played Game 5 without suspended forward Draymond Green and lost center Andrew Bogut early in the third quarter due to a left knee injury.
The Warriors and the Cavaliers were locked at 61-61 at the half, but Cleveland dominated the second half, after outscoring the defending champions 51-36 in the last two periods of the game.
The Warriors took 42 shots from long-range and made 14 for 33.3-percent, while the Cavaliers were 10 for 24 for 42-percent.
Game 6 of the series is Thursday in Cleveland.
The Warriors can clinched the NBA Championship title with a Game 6 win.