Tonight is Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. These two teams have been here before — playing a critical Game 5 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA.
Last year, in what many people considered an impossible feat, especially against the team that set the new regular season record for wins, the Cavaliers began their comeback to win the NBA Championship after being down in the series 3-1. After Friday’s Game 4 in Cleveland, the Cavaliers got a great boost in their confidence by not just beating the Warriors, but with a point spread of 21 points.
Cleveland came alive beyond the arc and shot 24 of 45 three-pointers. Kyrie Irving, who had been struggling earlier in the series, scored 40 points. He had seven three-pointers, with seven rebounds, four assists and a steal. Like the rest of his team, Irving was playing lights out defense.
LeBron James had another triple double, with 31 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists and one steal.
Kevin Love had 23 points, J.R. Smith had 15 and six other Cavaliers put points on the board. It was a lot of offense for a team that only scored 113 points in games 2 and 3 and 91 in Game 1.
Golden State will need to adjust to the possibility that Cleveland will put on another performance like Friday. They need to get around the Cleveland defense and get Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry on track offensively. They scored 13 and 14 points respectively.
The Warriors had 16 offensive rebounds so they need to take better advantage of the second chances. But the Cavaliers had 30 defensive rebounds to the Warriors’ 24. Golden State needs to turn that around if they want to win Game 5.
Kevin Durant has been the constant for the Warriors. He had 35 points in Game 4, the fourth time in this series he had more than 30 points.
Officiating in Game 4 was questionable at best, but the Warriors lost their composure at times, making it easier for the Cavaliers. Regardless of the officials, the Warriors need to keep playing and leave the bad calls — or alleged bad calls — behind them.
This is the Finals and emotions will be high. The Cavaliers need to win to keep their season alive. The Warriors want to close out this championship tonight and be the first Bay Area team to win a championship at home since the 1974 Athletics.
They also want to erase the stain from last season when they folded in the last three games of the Finals.
Below are Claudia Gestro’s video reports from the first four games of the series. We want to thank our sponsor for Claudia’s video reports, Bio Pharma, makers of all natural supplements and other products.
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UPDATE: In a thrilling game that saw the Cleveland Cavaliers jump out to a first quarter lead, only to lose it in the second quarter, the Golden State Warriors pulled a win in front of their hometown fans. It wasn’t easy.
LeBron James, widely considered the best player in the league, played all but two minutes of the game, scoring 41 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, dishing out eight assists, getting two steals and one block.
His teammates Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith added 26 and 25 points respectively. Tristan Thompson added 15 and Kevin Love grabbed 10 rebounds. But that was enough to stop the Warriors.
Led by Kevin Durant who had 39 points — the fifth time in these Finals he scored more than 30 points, they pulled themselves together in the first half and turned the game around.
Steph Curry had 34 points and 10 assists. Draymond Green had 10 points and 12 rebounds; Andre Igoudala came off the bench to add 20 points.
Klay Thompson added 11 points, but he once again played extremely tight defense, which was key to beating the Cavaliers. Kevin Love only had six points and Richard Jefferson was limited to just four.
After the big loss to Cleveland Friday, and then the stunning loss to the Cavaliers in last year’s Finals, there was a lot riding on this game for Golden State.
To no one’s surprise, Kevin Durant was named the Finals MVP.
The final score was 129-120.
Photos by Claudia Gestro
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