Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers Stay Alive
Golden State and Cleveland won their respective Game 6’s, staving off elimination, and preserving the possibility of a 4th consecutive NBA Finals meeting between the two teams. Here’s a recap of the two games, and a look at what lies ahead:
Cleveland 109 – Boston 99
With his team’s back against the wall, Lebron James came through with yet another incredible performance.
Lebron finished with 46 points on 17-33 shooting, adding 11 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals for good measure, ensuring the Cavaliers will live to fight another day.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens praised James after the game: “Nobody else has what he has on his shoulders playing the game,” said Stevens. “I think that the way in which he’s done that and all of the years now that he’s made the Finals and gone deep into the playoffs, it’s unbelievable.”
Lebron is no stranger to coming up big when it counts. The Cavaliers superstar has scored at least 40 points in 5 of 6 wins in elimination games since re-joining Cleveland in 2014.
This was also James’ seventh 40-point game of this postseason, tying Michael Jordan for the second-most 40-point games in one postseason, one away from Jerry West’s record of 8, set in 1965.
Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown scored 28 and 27 points, respectively, for the Celtics. However, it was not enough to overcome James’ dominance. Boston was within 7 with 3 minutes to go, when Lebron drained back-to-back 3-pointers, followed by a 3-point play to put the game out of reach.
The victory was marred by some bad news for the Cavaliers. After colliding with Jayson Tatum in the first quarter, Kevin Love exited the game with a head injury. The Cavs big man was placed in the concussion protocol, and has since been ruled out for Game 7.
“I’m sure it’s a big loss for them,” said Celtics star Al Horford of Love’s absence.
Love’s injury means that someone else will need to provide Lebron with help. Still, the Cavaliers can be almost certain that James will have another big game, doing everything in his power to lead the team to another Finals.
Golden State 115 – Houston 86
For one quarter, Warriors fans feared that their team’s offensive struggles were here to stay. However, those fears were soon put to rest.
Golden State overcame a 17-point first quarter deficit, blowing away the Rockets in the second half, on their way to a 115-86 victory, clinching a Game 7.
Thompson was particularly scorching from long-distance, hitting 9 threes. The Warriors’ recent tendency to look pedestrian one game, then championship-caliber the next, left their head coach dumbfounded.
“I have no clue why our team is like this,” Steve Kerr said. “It’s kind of what we do.”
From their stars to their role players, it is difficult to know what to expect with these Warriors. However, they seem to come through when they need to.