Cavaliers dump Warriors to force Game Seven to NBA Finals
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[June 17, 2016]
By Frank Pingue
CLEVELAND (Reuters) - The Cleveland
Cavaliers took another step in their historic comeback attempt with
a 115-101 win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday to force a
once-unthinkable decisive seventh game to the NBA Finals.
The LeBron James-led Cavaliers, one victory away from becoming the
first team to win an NBA championship after falling behind 3-1 in
the Finals, will now head to Oakland for Sunday's winner-take-all
showdown riding a wave of momentum.
"It's two of the greatest words in the world, and that's 'Game
Seven,' so I'll play it anywhere," James told reporters when asked
about hitting the road for Sunday's game.
Cleveland used an explosive first half in which they led by as many
as 22 points to set the tone and never allowed the usually
sharp-shooting Warriors to settle into a rhythm or get any closer
than seven points the rest of the way.
The Cavaliers built a 24-point lead in the third that looked like it
might spell the end for the Warriors but the reigning champions
finally closed out the quarter on a 10-0 run to pull within nine
But the Cavaliers, who got a game-high 41 points from James, managed
to hang on for the win and keep alive their hopes at a maiden NBA
Stephen Curry scored a team-high 30 points for the stunned Warriors
but the two-time reigning league Most Valuable Player fouled out of
the game late in the fourth quarter and then, in a rare display of
frustration, threw his mouthguard into the stands to earn the first
ejection of his career.
But Curry insists he and his teammates have not lost sight of their
"We know what kind of team we are, what we're capable of, what we've
accomplished so far, and how together we are," said Curry. "We
haven't splintered at all. I think we're more mentally tough than
letting two games not go our way kind of put any doubt in our
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Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) shoots the ball
against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in game six
of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob
Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
After falling behind 2-0 in the series, the Cavs were left for dead
by many impartial observers who expected the top-seeded defending
champion Warriors to run away with the series, some even calling for
a four-game sweep.
But after splitting the next two games, the resurgent Cavs used a
sparkling Game Five performance to shift momentum in their favor
and, perhaps, place a seed of doubt in the minds of the Warriors.
The Cavaliers are now just the third team to force a Game Seven
after falling behind 3-1, joining the 1951 New York Knicks and the
1966 Los Angeles Lakers.
With the win, the Cavaliers also kept alive their quest for a maiden
NBA title that would be Cleveland's first professional sports
championship since the 1964 Cleveland Browns of the National
"We want to give the city of Cleveland a championship. We want to
give the state of Ohio a championship. We want to give the Cleveland
organization a championship," said Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue. "So
that's what we're all about, and that's what we're trying to do."
(Editing by Steve Keating)
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