Monstrous games from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ensured the Cleveland Cavaliers stayed alive in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors with the series now 3-2 in the latter's favour.
The pair dropped 41 points each and really took advantage of Draymond Green's absence to record a 112-97 win. Kevin Love chimed in with just two points, three rebounds and one assists in over 32 minutes of play, but the other two of Cleveland's big three got the job done.
After coming under intense scrutiny following his altercation with Green in game four, LeBron answered his critics the best way he knows how; by taking over the floor. He had 16 rebounds on top of his scoring explosion and managed seven assists too.
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For the Warriors, their Splash Brothers could not carry them to the title-clinching victory as they slid to their fourth loss at the Oracle Arena for the season. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 62 points - 37 of which belonged to Thompson - but they couldn't contain the Cavaliers on the defensive end.
Curry's shaky Finals continued with the back-to-back MVP going 8-of-21 from the field and 5-of-14 from three-point range. He hasn't been the difference-maker he constantly was in the regular season during these Finals and Irving will believe he is getting the better of that matchup.
"We had a mindset that we wanted to come here and just extend our period and have another opportunity to fight for another day," James said, not flinching from the criticism surround his incident with Green. "That was our main concern, and we were able to do that."
Green's suspension undoubtedly played a big part in this loss. The power forward is often credited as the heart and soul of the reigning NBA champions and who knows if Irving and James would have been able to get on their respective runs if he had been on the floor.
"It obviously stings real bad," Warriors guard Thompson said. "We'll come back stronger."
Golden State always tends to do just that. They've only lost back-to-back games once all season long and with Green coming back into the fold for their trip to the Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday, one could imagine he couldn't be more motivated to capture the title right on Cleveland's home floor.
Another factor in the Warriors' demise was center Andrew Bogut's injury. The Aussie went down early in the third grabbing his left knee and writhing in pain, and will have an MRI exam on his sprained knee on Tuesday.
This Finals is following a similar pattern to last season's encounter and once again, the Dubs have the chance to win the title on Cleveland's homecourt in six games. Cleveland, of course, has other ideas.