Many were calling game six of the 2016 NBA Finals, “the biggest game in Cleveland Cavaliers history.” This was undoubtedly true as the Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 115-101 to force a historic game seven back in Oakland.
The Cavaliers would not find themselves in this position if it wasn’t for the inspiring play of LeBron James. The Cleveland forward notched his second straight 40+ point game of the series with 41 on the night.
James ended this contest with 11 assists and eight rebounds to go along with that gaudy point total. He was unstoppable again as he took flight for many high-flying dunks and picked Golden State’s defence apart with precision passing.
The King, though, isn’t even looking ahead to possibly winning a championship just yet.
“I guess we just take one day at a time. We haven't rushed to get to a game five. We didn't rush to get to a game six today. And we won't rush to get to a game seven on Sunday,” he said.
No team in NBA Finals history has ever come back from a 3-1 series deficit, but the Wine and Gold are just one win away from achieving that.
“At the end of the day this is going to be it for all of us, including you guys. One more game left, and you guys are going to give it all you've got, we're going to give it all we've got, and the Warriors will do the same, and we'll live with the results,” James added.
The Cavaliers have made it this far by buying into the belief that head coach Tyronn Lue has preached since he took over midway through the season.
Point guard Kyrie Irving is looking forward to the challenge of winning a decisive game on the road: “This is the all-time, all-time high of being part of a team when both teams have one chance to win championships, one game that's separating that, and it just doesn't stop there. So I'm excited to just get to Sunday and see what it's really like.”
James had some help from Irving, who ended with 22 points. J.R. Smith also performed as an admirable spark plug for the home team with 14 points, shooting 40 percent from three-point range.
Tristan Thompson also provided the Cavs with a lift by munching 16 boards and throwing in 15 points. Cleveland has fed off of his energy and rebounding all series long.
Thompson and the Cavaliers must find a way to keep that energy rolling if they want to return to the shores of Lake Erie with the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Either way, the next game is the biggest game in Cleveland Cavaliers history, as it has been for the past two games.
If they can manage to do the unthinkable again, LeBron James will have authored the storybook ending that he alluded to when he decided to return to Ohio last year.
Game seven will be a sight to see for basketball fans, the Cavaliers hope that we can all witness history.