The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-91, at Oracle Arena in a classic battle of two of the game’s best players. Stephen Curry scored 37 points with an efficient 13-of-23 overall and 7-of-13 from three-point range, including a fourth quarter flurry of 3’s, and managed to trump LeBron James’ 40 point triple-double. James went 15-of-34 and made just seven of his 19 field-goal attempts in the second half. The Warriors take a 3-2 series advantage and are one win away from hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy.
The two teams traded blows in the first half, and by halftime, Golden State held a slim 51-50 lead. It was a tight game with several lead changes and ties, when once again, the Cavaliers took the lead 80-79 after a deep LeBron James three- pointer with 7:46 left in the game. The Warriors next trip down the court was indicative of things to come; Curry’s ball handling wizardry allowed him to create space for a three-point barrage. Matthew Dellavedova, who has been tremendous in slowing down Curry in previous games, was helpless trying to stop the league MVP. With late contributions from Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodola–who started again in place of Andrew Bogut–the Warriors ensured that their one-point deficit was the last lead the Cavaliers would see.
Curry’s best three, a step-back crossover on the wing with 2:45 left, sealed the game for Golden State. He slapped his chest as Cleveland called timeout, but refused to gloat in his accomplishment. “Signature moments only come for players who are holding the trophy at the end of the day,” Curry told reporters after the game.
Curry’s greatness propelled the Warriors, but their role players came up big for the second straight game. Draymond Green contributed 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Iguodola was rock solid with a stat line of 14 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and so was Leandro Barbosa, who scored 13 points off the bench. Cavalier’s forward Tristan Thompson had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and while the erratic JR Smith was hot scoring all of his 14 points in the first half , Timofey Mozgov was a no-show. After a career high 28 points in game four, Mozgov was scoreless in just nine minutes of action.
Game six is Tuesday night in Cleveland, 9:00pm EST on ABC.
By Kyle Edwards