The Golden State Warriors failed to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy last night after the Cleveland Cavaliers secured an 112-97 victory at the Oracle Arena, inflicting Golden State's fourth loss of the season on their homecourt.
Of course, the Dubs were without the key influence of Draymond Green who was serving a one-game suspension for his culmination of flagrant fouls. His incident with LeBron James in game four meant he was banned from the arena last night and it has been speculated that LeBron intentionally tried to get Green suspended.
James, for his part, has denied any premeditated plans to strip the Warriors of their heartbeat and, in fairness, looks like he just took exception to his opponents trash talk, which happens all the time in the NBA.
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Whether Green was targeted or not, the Warriors look to set to be without another key man in their starting five for the remainder of the Finals as Andrew Bogut suffered a sprained knee in game five on Monday night.
The injury happened when Bogut collided with Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith as they jostled for a rebound. Smith fell into Bogut's leg, which hyperextended backward as he fell to the court. Bogut was visibly in pain, and he stayed on the baseline writing in agony until play was halted.
As another key defensive pillar for the Warriors, being without Green and Bogut on the floor proved too much for the reigning NBA champions to handle. James and Kyrie Irving exploded for a combined 82 points and the Warriors had no answers.
It even affected Steve Kerr's men on the offensive end, too. Without the excellent screens and movement Bogut and Green provide, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson couldn't exert their usual influence on proceedings from behind the key.
Although they managed a combined 62 points, Curry was an uncharacteristic 4-of-15 from beyond the arc.
The Warriors have called the injury a sprain at this point and according to the team, they are delaying further testing to let the injury "calm down".
The MRI was originally set for Monday night but was later pushed to Tuesday to take the swelling into account. With their championship hopes now a lot less certain, the Warriors must be ruing the loss of their starting center.
Festus Ezeli is an extremely competent replacement, or the responsibility may be split with former Cavaliers man Anderson Varejao.
Green shall return in game six at the Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday night and the power forward is bound to be incredibly motivated to stick it to James and lift the Larry O'Brien trophy on Cleveland's home floor - again.
Will this series go the distance and reach seven games? Or will the Warriors breeze past Cleveland with Green back in the fold?