Cleveland Cavaliers kept their season going by forcing the NBA Finals to go to a sixth game as LeBron James and Kyrie Irving starred in the 112–97 win over the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors still lead the series 3-2 despite the loss.
The Brazilian pairing of Leandro Barbosa and Anderson Verejao hit three points each to lead the international class but Australia’s Andrew Bogut will be a major cause for concern for Golden State as he left the game in the latter stages of the third quarter after landing horribly on his knee in transition and not returning to action.
But, the show belonged to Irving and James, who both scored 41 points, the first time that team-mates have scored 40-plus points in NBA Finals history as the series goes back to Cleveland in the early hours of Friday morning.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 37 points.
Glued to the bench in game four, Barbosa came unstuck with just over three minutes left in the first, and with his first touch, drained a three as the Warriors led for the majority of the first as Curry and Thompson led Golden State to a 32-29 lead, heading into the second.
The pace of the game was intense, with both sides showing no mercy on each other. It was a style of play that would normally suit the Warriors, but the visiting Cavaliers, knowing that they were playing to keep their season alive and inspired by a focused James kept the game at a 61-61 deadlock at half-time, leaving many of us breathless and wanting more.
James and Irving, delivered in the third as the Cavaliers duo drained three-pointers to give the visitors the first double-digit lead of the night with Curry and Thompson left relatively quiet. Heading into the final period, Cleveland had a 93-84 lead.
Warriors needed a boost. Without Green, and witnessing Bogut land awkwardly on his knee not failing to return, the normally successful small line-up for Golden State was needed more than ever.
But the fourth quarter belonged to the Cavaliers, as Irving went ‘Uncle Drew’ mode with James equalling his team-mate’s efforts as Cleveland forced a game six.
Oracle crowd chanting "FREE DRAYMOND"
— Brian Witt (@Wittnessed) June 14, 2016
Cleveland going with sleeved jerseys tonight. Unfortunately, that's still a thing. #NBAFinals
— John Hobbs (@johnswisshobbs) June 14, 2016
In the Finals:
Leandro Barbosa has scored 32 points on 18 FG attempts.
Kevin Love has scored 34 points on 31 FG attempts.
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 14, 2016
How old is Richard Jefferson? Here he is playing against Steph's father Dell, 14 years ago pic.twitter.com/dAHPoFOSpz
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 14, 2016
Another look at the stadium hosting a baseball game 300 feet from an NBA Finals game. pic.twitter.com/WXwOSUD6iW
— Greg Tepper (@Tepper) June 14, 2016
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) June 14, 2016
We've had too many blowouts in this series. We deserve an additional game that's competitive like this one. 😄 #NBAFinals
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 14, 2016