The Cleveland Cavaliers have their backs against the wall in the NBA Finals after dropping a 108-97 decision to the Golden State Warriors at home at the Quicken Loan Arena on June 10th. The Cavaliers now trail the best-of-seven series 3-1 and it could all be over this Monday night June 13th when the two teams square off in game five at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Golden State has now won eight of their past nine games against Cleveland.
NBA Finals Game 5 – Pinnacle Sports Basketball Betting Line:
- Pinnacle Sports lists Golden State -7.0 points at -106 with Cleveland +7.0 at -104 with the over at 206.0 points at +100 and the under at -110. Golden State is favored at -315 to win with Cleveland at +277
If Cleveland is to stop the Warriors from winning their second straight NBA crown they’re going to have to do it by becoming the first team in history to rebound from a 3-1 Final series deficit. The Warriors basically won game four on their second-half performance in which they outscored the Cavs 58-42, including 29-20 in the fourth quarter. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson finally broke out of their scoring slumps for Golden State as Curry scored 38 points and added six assists with seven three-pointers and Thompson chipped in with 25 points along with four three-pointers.
The Warriors set an NBA record for the Finals with 17 made threes in a contest. The team also set a new record for total wins in a season with 88, which includes the regular season and the playoffs. Kyrie Irving led the way for Cleveland with a club-high 34 points while LeBron James once again just missed adding a triple-double as he scored 25 points along with nine assists and 13 rebounds. Forward Kevin Love was back in the lineup for the Cavs after missing game three with a head injury. He didn’t start, but did get on the court in the opening quarter. James in the meantime played 46 minutes.
Golden State was ahead 29-28 after 12 minutes which was a big difference from the previous outing when they found themselves trailing 33-16 after the first quarter. The Warriors never really rebounded in game three and lost it by a score of 120-90. James was relatively quiet for Cleveland early in the game with just seven points in the first half, but Irving’s play and 16 points led the Cavs to a 55-50 advantage at halftime. Curry put the Warriors up 72-69 with about four minutes to go in the third quarter, but the Cavs had pulled it back to a 79-77 deficit at the end of the quarter.
The sides traded leads early in the fourth, but Cleveland’s offense stalled and Golden State pulled ahead 93-84 with under six minutes to go. The final nail in the coffin may well have been Curry’s three-pointer with less than four minutes to play as it put the Warriors ahead 96-86. The Cavs managed to cut the lead to seven points shortly after with a James’ free throw, but Curry once again hurt them with a layup to put his team up 98-89 and that was more or less the end of the story.
Cleveland’s up against it on Monday night as Golden State won their first two home outings by 48 points combined. The Warriors went 39-2 at home during the regular season and Cleveland looked lost at times in the first two games of the series. The Warriors can clinch the series with just one win in the next three games if it goes that far and two of those will be at home. Cleveland needs to take things one game at a time to see if they can extend the series, but its’ not going to be easy. On the flip side, the Warriors can’t afford to take their foot of the pedal and relax.
by Ian S. Palmer