The Cleveland Cavs toppled the Golden State Warriors 112–97 on Monday night to send the series back to Cleveland for Game 6.
Draymond Green was notably absent for Game 5 after his much-discussed flagrant foul on LeBron James, and the Warriors missed him all over the floor, after having played just one game without him during their historic regular season.
The bigger story was the Cavaliers showing up in full, with Kyrie Irving having a scintillating career night (41 points on 17-of-24 shooting, six assists) and James dominating on both sides of the ball (41 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks). They became the first teammates in NBA history to each score 40-plus points in a Finals game.
The two stars carried the Cavs to the finish line and helped them pull away in the fourth quarter, the Warriors unable to find the magic from three. Klay Thompson finished with 37 points and Stephen Curry with 25, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with their counterparts. Beyond Andre Iguodala, Golden State’s supporting cast struggled as a whole.
Green will return for Game 6, which is Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. The Warriors could now be without starting center Andrew Bogut, who sprained his knee in a collision with J.R. Smith early in the third quarter and did not return.
No team has ever come back from down 3–1 in an NBA Finals. Cleveland now trails 3–2.
Check out all the highlights below.
Andre Iguodala opened the scoring with a steal and transition bucket.
Steph Curry hit an early three as part of a hot Warriors start, fueled by aggressive defense. He’s hit a three in a record 56 consecutive playoff games.
Kyrie Irving to the rack as the Cavs pushed back.
Iguodala continues his campaign for Finals MVP.
LeBron James is off to a hot start as well, hitting a pair of early threes and getting to the basket on this drive.
Curry with the floater. 32–29 Warriors, after one quarter.
Meanwhile, the Richard Jefferson revival continues.
LeBron with a sweet rejection of Curry.
And...RIP Richard Jefferson, courtesy of Shaun Livingston.
Klay Thompson is heating up.
Curry liked this mismatch.
And LeBron feels good too.
The game was tied at 61 at halftime. Klay Thompson had 26, and LeBron James had 25 in arguably the most exciting game of this series to date. It was the highest-scoring first half of a Finals game since 1987.
Warriors center Andrew Bogut was carried to the locker room after injuring his knee on this collision early in the third quarter.
LeBron has been all over the court defensively.
The Cavaliers lead 93–84 following an outstanding third-quarter effort. And LeBron is hot.
Steph opened the fourth with a three.
Anderson Varejao with a beautiful hustle play in the fourth, as the Warriors try to claw back.
Kyrie Irving has been unbelievable all night.
Irving and James carried the Cavs to a 112–97 win, forcing Game 6 Thursday night in Cleveland.