LeBron James and Kyrie Irving make NBA Finals history with 41-point outings

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The Cleveland Cavaliers kept their NBA Finals hopes alive with a stunning 112-97 win over the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena on Monday night. 

In an elimination game for the Cavs - with the Warriors leading the series 3-1 - LeBron James and Kyrie Irving went into superstar mode and carried the Cavaliers on their backs.

Scoring 41 points apiece, the duo became the first set of teammates to do so in the Finals and put Golden State's championship celebrations on hold for another game. 

The historic outing for Kyrie and LeBron also gives the Cavs an opportunity to make history as a team and become the first to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the Finals. 

The performance of James maybe shouldn't come as a huge surprise as he averages the most points of any player in elimination games in NBA history at 32.4 per game.

The King's showing in Oakland didn't quite surpass his otherworldly 45-point, 15-rebound, 73 percent shooting game six in Boston in 2012 to keep his first championship run in Miami alive, but it was still something special. 

The four-time MVP filled the stat sheet with 41 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and three blocks in 43 minutes of action.

He also became the 1st player with at least 40 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists in an NBA Finals game since Shaquille O'Neal in 2001.

His greatness in the postseason has almost become customary, but at the age of 32 he can still leave us in awe of his abilities on the hardwood and he wasn't ready to give up his dream of bringing a first championship to his hometown without a fight. 

"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. "That was our main concern, and we were able to do that."

Alongside James' incredible display, Cleveland would not be able to fight for another day without an almost equally special display by his running mate Irving.

The three-time All-Star confirmed his status as a star in the league with a game for the ages on the biggest stage of them all and against a historic performance.

The point guard dropped 41 points on an incredibly efficient 17-of-24 shooting and showcased his arsenal of offensive skills as he put the ball in the basket in multiple jaw-dropping ways.

The 24-year-old is one of a few players in the league that can get hot and stay hot. He can add this unforgettable night to his 57-point tear on the road against the San Antonio Spurs in the regular season last year.

Sitting side by side on the post-game podium, LeBron was unequivocal in describing what he saw from his teammate. 

"It's probably one of the greatest performances I've ever seen live."

The Dubs fans came to the Oracle to see their team hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy once again, but despite going away disappointed having missed that, they were treated to two of the best individual performances in Finals history instead.

Though no Warriors fans would admit that publicly it, that was still worth the price of admission.

The series will now swing back to Ohio for a game six with the Cavs still in a backs against the wall situation. The Q will be in full voice to try and help them force a deciding game seven in the Bay Area.

Eastern Conference
Kyrie Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
LeBron James

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