Cavs, Warriors expect 'brawl' of a Game Five

Ruben Hill
June 13, 2017

The Cavaliers had 86 points at halftime and led by 24 during a physical and at times poorly officiated game while handing the Warriors their first loss of the postseason.

Irving played just one game before injuring his knee in the first Finals meeting between these teams in 2015.

In four games, James is averaging 31 points per game on 54% shooting, 38% from three-point range, with almost 12 rebounds and 10 assists per game.

In a game like Monday night, it would not be a surprise.

And yes, that includes the final 3.4 seconds that were run off the clock after the Warriors had come off the bench to celebrate justifiably if technically prematurely. Kyrie Irving added 26 points and J.R. Smith chipped in with 25.

"I just think he has a better shot-making ability than anybody else, maybe in the history of the NBA", Jefferson said.

It was Draymond Green's collision with LeBron James and subsequent decision to kick James in the midsection as he attempted to step over Green's prone body.

Tight whistle in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Now Game 5 arrives with Irving and the Cavaliers looking to duplicate past year, while the Warriors attempt to alter that parallel course, in part, by morphing Kyrie back into an inefficient volume shooter.

Durant drove left, right and down the middle, knocked down 3-pointers, dished and dunked. In another era, teams like the Raptors, Celtics and Wizards would consider themselves a player or two away from possibly landing a Finals spot. Warriors in five was the most popular choice among media guesses prior to Cavs-Warriors III, and if the defending champs are destroyed in Game 5, then it's possible LeBron's G.O.A.T. resume will have taken its worst hit since 2011, when he disappeared against the Dallas Mavericks his first year in Miami.

The Cavs were shaky early, but got back into it with their defense. Stephen Curry will also have to play a much better game offensively than he did in Game 4. The Cleveland Cavaliers are fresh from the Game 4 blowout of 137-116 and certainly are gunning for a repeat to live another day.

But if Thompson does need a tag-team partner, perhaps more Andre Iguodala on Irving would be a wise choice.

They are heading back to Oakland again ahead 3-1 and they blew a 3-1 lead a year ago. And these two teams are in the same situation again, with the Cavaliers down 3-1, heading to Oakland for Game 5.

Durant shot 14 for 20 and Curry - the two-time reigning MVP who took a backseat as the new big star got acclimated - finished off a brilliant postseason.

Let me preface this article by bluntly stating I do not believe this game was rigged.

"We have to be more on edge". We know it's not going to be an easy game for us. "I think both teams feel that way". "Nervous is good. Appropriate fear is the Gregg Popovich line".

According to Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, his team is done being nice from Game 4 going forward. "When I say something, I've thought about what I'm going to say before I say it". The Raptors won 51 games despite Lowry missing 22 games, and if they re-sign Ibaka, they'll come back next season ready to challenge the Celtics for top spot in the Atlantic Division. It's true analytics would've taken off without LeBron ever existing, but he is the player who set the baseline for all-around greatness in the National Basketball Association, at least during the time we've really had the ability and interest in measuring it rigorously.

They practiced it several times as heads turned in Oracle Arena to watch and listen.

"They're so committed to each other and unselfish", Kerr added of his players.

The Warriors secured a 129-120 victory on Monday to take their second title in three seasons and cap a near-perfect run through the play-offs.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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