The story surrounding game 5 was the suspension of Draymond Green and how his absence would impact both ballclubs. The other questions were would this, along with being at home in a potential series clinching game, put an extra chip on the Warriors’ shoulder and would the Cavaliers come out aggressively as they had in game and would they avoid the costly mistakes that cost them the previous contest?
Through the first half, this was by far the most competitive and entertaining game of series. It was more in line of what I expected from this matchup. Klay Thompson was lighting it up from all over, scoring 26 first half points, including six three-pointers.
LeBron James has 25 in the first half and apparently remembered that jump shots are allowed in basketball and hit several and made aggressive,decisive moves and decisions on offense. Kyrie Irving was sizzling, hitting 7 of his 9 shots in tallying his 18 first half points.
The game was tied at 61 at the half.
As the game wore on, the combined offensive brilliance of Kyrie Irving, who hit some incredible shots and ended the night with 41 and LeBron James who also had 41 (the first time in a Finals history two teammates each scored 40) overcame the monster game of Klay Thompson who had 37 on the evening. Stephen Curry had and Andre Iguodala had 15 and 11 rebounds.
Although the Cavaliers appeared more lively on defense, the Warriors were still able to get many open looks out of their sets. Unfortunately, they were not able to knock them down, shooting 14-42 from three point range and only shot 36.4% overall on the evening. Stephen Curry missed 13 of his 21 shots and Harrison Barnes, who had strong efforts in both games 3 and four, also struggled, going 2-14.
Bolstered by their good shooting ( Cleveland shot 53%) and their active defense, the Cavaliers would eventually stretch the lead to nine at the end of three quarters. Golden State would get as close as 6 points before the lead was stretched to double figures, where it would remain for the duration as Cleveland would be victorious 112-97.
For Cleveland, they will have to come out aggressively on both sides of the ball. As for Golden State, getting Draymond Green will be back will be huge, as that will help them on both sides of the ball, but they will likely be without Center Andew Bogut, who appeared to suffer a knee injury after blocking a shot and had to be helped to the locker room.
Game 6 will be in Cleveland Thursday June 16, 2016 at 9:00 PM EST.