After all the drama - will Draymond Green play, is LeBron James a punk - we still have a game to play.
Did you know no team has ever come back from 3-1 down to win the title? Did you know the Warriors have only lost one game at home all post season? Did you forget that the Warriors almost went undefeated at home during the season?
Yeah... you are Warriors fan. Of course you didn't forget.
It's Game 5 in Oakland as Dray watches from across the parking lot at the Oakland Coliseum and we all watch from our seats at home. For me, the best way to take you through it is a running diary... lets do this!
- Love gets the start for Cleveland. Iggy gets the start for the Warriors. It will be a game of matchups all night long - minutes are out the window, if the Warriors can finish this thing tonight, saving players for the next game won't matter. Plus, there is a huge break between the next game on Friday anyway.
- #FreeDraymond signs were everywhere around the arena, including being talked about by the Jeff Van Gundy/Mark Jackson color commentary team before the game starts. If the Warriors lose, it's all they will talk about. If they win, who cares we win the title.
- We get a late start after a touching speech from Grant Hill on the Orlando tragedy. Nice touch, NBA.
- Andre Iguodala gets the first basket on the steal from James, Kyrie Irving answers with a trey. Warriors jump out to early 9-3 run with hot defense from Andrew Bogut and the finish by Iguodala. Golden State jumping on every loose ball, smelling blood in the water
- Cleveland settles back in with a run of their own on a James three and a J.R. Smith and-one. Warriors answer with a Curry three. Good back-and-forth by both teams with the Warriors staying on top.
- Ezeli gets called for the questionable call, which gets reviewed for flagrant but kept a common foul. The delay only serves to remind us all how over-analyzed the NBA has become. Great point on the broadcast - less flagrants use to get called in the NBA because flagrant was automatic ejection.
- James Michael McAdoo gets some playing time and gets called for the early "running into LeBron" foul. Just serves to piss off the crowd more.
- Warriors hot from betind the arc, except for Iguodala who can't hit a shot. Allows the Cavs to stay in it as they stay hot from long. Dre might have to start attacking the basket more. Barbosa gets inserted to help wth the Dray minutes and hits his first shot, a corner three. Warriors seriously going 10 deep in a potentially championship-clinching game.
- Cleveland abuses the Warriors with no center on the floor to get their first lead of the night. Kerr insisting on keeping his rotation. On the other end, it's Delly vs Curry as the MVP gets the floater and Delly just continues to play dirty.
- Long first quarter ends with a Livingston and-one then a James long jumper. Felt like forever after the reviews and foul calls. Pace favoring the Cavs so far but the Warriors still hold the lead.
First Quarter Score: 32-29
- Ex-Warrior Richard Jefferson gets two quick baskets to start the quarter and Golden State can't hit a shot. Irving's three forces the timeout and the Warriors are now coming from behind. Curry is back off the bench early to avoid the lead extending and the Cavs counter with LeBron.
- Play of the game - S Dot goes down the lane for the huge slam. Momentum is short-lived as Irving keeps hitting his jumper. A huge swing play: LeBron goes for the steal, misses and Klay hits the tree. It's a game of inches on both sides.
- Warriors stay in the game because Klay can't miss, but every time Golden State makes a run, the Cavs answer with an offensive rebound and big shot. Who is going to get the big rebounds that Draymond gets every night? Who is going to get the big stop on defense to prevent the Cavs attacking the rim?
- LeBron James, boos aside, is playing an amazing first half. He is scoring, he is playing defense, he is getting steals; keeping the Cavs in the game. Say what you want, the guy refuses to lose. An Irving steal leads to a layup and a four point lead.
- Klay three (he's hit 6 in the quarter), Barnes three, Curry three. All countered by LeBron James on the other end. This is a war. 61-58 at the timeout for blood on Klay's hands. James caps it off with the and-one with Mo on him. Mo Buckets probably can't stay on the floor tonight. And the quarter ends as it should: tied up after James finally misses a jumper.
At the end of the best half of the series: 61-61
- The Cavs start the quarter with a quick and-one from Irving on Bogut. Curry answers with the three, the big equalizer.
- The big Aussie goes down in a hump, and it looks like a knee injury. He's holding it like a cornerback after a bad cut -- this one might be serious. Sad to see him go down like that. More small ball coming for Golden State, who are already short-handed.
- The Warriors shooting goes quiet and Kyrie can't be stopped. Cavs crawl to largest lead as Kerr refuses the timeout after an Irving three. Warriors getting saved with questionable calls, first an Irving turnover then a Klay foul on a three.
- Cavs keep hitting shots and the Warriors are looking stagnant. The momentum is stopped with a review on a foul to Curry by Love. Serves as a good timeout to stop the momentum with the Cavs up seven.
- It quickly becomes the worse quarter of the series for the Warriors as the lead grows for the Cavs and Golden State keeps pressing. Cavs take the timeout out eight as Curry hits the bench.
- We hit the Hack-A-Thompson portion of the game as this third comes to a halt. Not sure it's the best call to slow the game down to get Cleveland rest. Of course Iggy makes it pay with a three... which is countered by James. At this point, it's demoralizing for Golden State. Momentum haunts with an airball from Klay then a Cavs layup to take it to 11 points. Crowd is dead.
- Quarter ends with a blocked three attempt on Curry after the Warriors cut it back to single digits. It's going to have to be a big comeback to end this one.
End of the Third: 93-84 Cavs
- Andy V tries to sell the flagrant to start the quarter with no luck. The Warriors stay within striking distance but LeBron comes back in and they're down seven again. He answers with a jumper.
- The Warriors scoring is there as long as they can play defense. Barnes can't hit the big shot and the Cavs keep their cushion. Just when Golden State can crawl back into it, the offense starts turning the ball over, and Irving hits the and-one to push the lead to 10 with 7:30 to play.
- Kyrie Irving single-handedly destroys the Warriors in the fourth until their will is taken. Jumper after jumper, followed up by the big three off the dribble takes the lead to 13, and the Warriors can't answer. This game feels like the Warriors win in Game 4 in Cleveland: the superstars took over after a back-and-forth game. Feeling all the stories will be about the Cavs big two and how they might not be able to be stopped. Kerr finally takes the timeout, but Golden State looks punched out.
- Interesting call to bring Rush into the game into the fourth. He plays OK D, but James abuses him with the and-one after he misses the corner three. Might be time to throw in the towel for the Warriors tonight. In the end, nobody really scored outside of Klay and Curry. Barnes was a ghost tonight and they needed him.
- Golden State pulls the starters with two minutes to go. The Cavs shoot over 50%, and that can't happen in a Finals game. The Draymond Impact? Sure - and that's why you can't have one of your most impactful players taking swipes at other players in the Finals. Kyrie and LeBron go for 41 each, taking turns torching Golden State on their own floor. The Warriors will have to put the champagne on ice for a few more nights...
Final score: 112-97
Game 6 can't come fast enough. And that's all she wrote... #freedryamond