Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a sterling effort off the bench from Brazilian international Leandro Barbosa, the Golden State Warriors fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-101 in game six of the NBA Finals to force a deciding game seven in the early hours of Monday morning.

Barbosa scored 14 points including two three-pointers to lead the international class for Golden State with Brazil’s Anderson Verejao, Russia’s Timofey Mozgov and Australia’s Matthew Dellavedova playing cameo roles for the Cavaliers.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 41 points for the second straight game, supported by Kyrie Irving with 25. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 30 points, including six threes, giving the league MVP 28 three-pointers in the NBA Finals, a new record.

But joy for Curry turned to nightmare as he was ejected late in the fourth quarter for throwing his gum shield into the crowd.

With elimination continuing to loom, the Cavaliers were off to the races from the get-go, with a triple from James capping an 8-0 start for the hosts before the returning Draymond Green got Golden State off and running with a lay-up.

Cleveland though kept pushing and took a 31-11 lead after the first, which they continued for the first minutes of the second.

Curry, who had been anonymous for the Warriors in the first quarter, found his range, hitting two three-pointers to trim the deficit to fifteen points, but the Cavaliers continued to keep the scoreboard ticking, eventually settling for a 59-43 lead at the half.

But the Warriors were threatening in the third quarter, and led by Thompson and Curry they cut Cleveland’s lead to single-digits 80-71 heading into the fourth.

Led by James, Cleveland restored their double-digit advantage to start the final period only to be pegged back again by Barbosa. A three-pointer later in the quarter by the Brazilian Blur, which cancelled out a lay-up by James narrowed the Cavaliers’ cushion to just seven at 86-79.

But the hosts fought back to snatch back their double-digit lead and then with 4:22 remaining, a moment of madness from Curry, was called for a technical foul, threw his gum shield into the crowd.

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And finally the last word goes to Stephen Curry’s wife…