Warriors 129, Cavs 120: Player ratings
Another huge night at the free throw line for Stephen Curry. He took 15 shots from the charity stripe, picking up over a third of his points. Was unable to get find his rhythm from deep, shooting 2-9, but was huge in spreading the ball and helping his teammates with 10 assists. This game epitomised the sacrifice the two-time MVP has made with the addition of Kevin Durant. But it was all worth it for a second NBA title.
Was in foul trouble early and had to sit for extended periods in the opening half. Made his presence felt on another night when his shot wasn’t falling. Started the second half with two quick threes and looked to be catching fire, but had to settle for 11 points. The Dubs wouldn’t be champions without him. Klay’s ability to defend a plethora of positions is key, and he held his own against superstar duo Kyrie Irving and LeBron James throughout the night.
Overcame his early foul trouble to have another huge night as he claimed his first NBA title and Finals MVP award. Was lucky to avoid a third foul in the second quarter as he evidently hit LeBron James on defence, but made the most of his break to star in the 21-2 run that secured Golden State their second championship in three years. Was visibly emotional in the final minutes. Without him, the Larry O’Brien trophy would not be back in the Bay Area.
Draymond Green’s hustle and determination were key once again. The power forward came up with a huge double-double in another influential performance. His +/- shows just how important the Michigan State alum is to his team. 12 boards, including three big offensive rebounds. Sometimes his desire to win is seen as overzealous, but nobody can doubt his commitment to the cause.
A quiet night for the backup point guard. Played his part in the rotation but was part of a lineup that struggled to contain the Cavaliers as they made a strong comeback in the third quarter. After his career-threatening injuries he is now a two-time champion.
What else is there to say about Andre Iguodala? The former All-Star has sacrificed so much for this team. He’s assumed a role off the bench without question and was Finals MVP in 2015. His performance in game five may have been the best of his Warriors career. Three huge dunks in the first half set the tone. Iggy was thrust back into the game by Steve Kerr to halt a Cavaliers run as the defending champions cut the deficit to nine - he hit a clutch three that stopped their momentum dead in its tracks.
David West is finally an NBA champion. Having missed out last year with San Antonio, the veteran was not to be denied this time. Hit two big shots for the Warriors and facilitated play well. His +15 +/- tells you how impressive this display was from West. Was given a technical for a foul on Kyrie Irving in the second quarter. It may have halted the team’s game-winning run, but it certainly lit a spark inside Oracle Arena.
The 38th pick in the 2016 draft has already etched his name into Warriors folklore. Patrick McCaw was much more than a passenger in this crucial game five. Given his first extended run of the Finals, the rookie repaid Steve Kerr’s faith with six huge points and three strong rebounds. Definitely a stud for the future of this franchise.
Cleveland needed more of Kyrie Irving’s game four heroics if they were to extend this series, however, with a banged up right knee in the second quarter and lower right back problems in the second half, it was clear to see the point guard was not operating at full capacity. He still produced some mind-blowing finishes at the rim and his +/- shows how influential the All-Star was. He’ll be back even stronger next year.
An incredible return to form in games four and five for J.R. Smith. Despite the loss, he was simply incredible from range at Oracle. Two threes before half time contribute to an 8-2 Cavaliers run, cutting the deficit from 17 to 11 at the interval. Continued his incredible shooting with some huge contested three pointers.
It was always going to take something special to see off this super team Golden State roster. Even a triple-double through five games wasn’t enough for LeBron James and the Cavaliers. The King did not register a single assist in the first half and it looked like hope had disappeared when Golden State embarked on their huge run. However, he showed out in the second half with some incredible attacking basketball. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.
Simply not good enough from the Cavaliers’ third star. No points in the first half, only six overall and a game low +/-. There is a debate to be had over how Kevin Love fits into this roster and it won’t go away after a performance like that. Managed to impact the game with his rebounding, but anything close to his normal output in scoring would’ve severely changed the outlook of this game.
Was handed a technical foul as he defended Kyrie Irving after a shove from David West, and was fired up throughout the night. The criticism laid at his feet after the opening three games of this series obviously sparked a reaction from the center, and he produced a second straight impressive performance to finish with 15 points.
Simply wasn’t a factor throughout the Finals. Doesn’t play the same role he did in Atlanta but looks a shadow of the player that made the All-Star game in 2015.
Having begged for the chance to guard KD in game four, he was tasked with repeating his strong performance in game five. Failed to contain the Finals MVP. Overall a strong series for RJ.