After a series’ worth of struggles, Stephen Curry finally found his way toward some open space. Barely.
The NBA’s MVP nailed seven three-pointers on his way toward 37 points as his Golden State Warriors worked toward a pivotal Game 5 win, downing the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-91. Curry managed 17 fourth-quarter points in the conquest, taking a 3-2 series lead as his W’s could take in the franchise’s first NBA championship in 40 years in Tuesday’s Game 6 in Cleveland.
After struggling to find consistent rhythm throughout the series, Curry went against Golden State orthodoxy in relying on a litany of one-on-one fakes against fading Cavalier point man Matthew Dellavedova down the stretch. Needing just a scintilla of distance against the upstart Cavs guard, Curry rose up for seven three-pointers in 13 attempts, overcoming LeBron James’ second triple-double of these Finals. James finished with 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in the loss.
Cleveland had its chances. For a while at least.
The Cavs overcame a strong Golden State start, replete with great spacing and ball movement, to take a first quarter lead and remain competitive throughout. Game 5 was a two-point game as late as the 4:24 mark of the fourth quarter, with a potentially game-tying James jump hook from 7 feet away from the goal going long. J.R. Smith showed a confident stroke in the first half, establishing a series high with 14 points, while Tristan Thompson once again crashed the offensive glass with five caroms on that end alongside five defensive rebounds on his way to a 19 and 10 night in the loss.
The Cavaliers just could not keep up.
Dellavedova, charged with chasing Curry while attempting to set up Cleveland’s minimalist offense, was dragging even coming out of timeouts in the fourth quarter, and Curry took notice. The W’s guard entered the fourth quarter with 20 points, hardly a failing effort, but his team was nursing just a six-point lead heading into the final frame despite tactical changes and James’ skinflint support.
Source: Yahoo News