OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The latest from Game 5 of the NBA Finals:
8:10 p.m. PDT
Stephen Curry turned in an MVP performance. So did LeBron James.
“He has the ball in his hands a lot and he’s making big shots,” Curry said of James’ triple-double in the Warriors’ 104-91 victory in Game 5. “You have to just stick with the program, don’t get discouraged if he makes some shots — because he’s going to.”
Curry made more than a few himself, finishing with 37 points and several contested 3-pointers.
” They’ve been trapping a lot of pick-and-rolls so when I have an opportunity to go 1-on-1 I’ve got to be real aggressive, get (Matthew Dellavedova) off balance and shoot a 3.
“You’ve got to make those shots.”
Now the Warriors are just one win away from another NBA title.
“Hopefully at the end of the day, come Tuesday, we can hold that trophy and be proud of that,” Curry said. “That’s all I’m worried about.”
The yellow confetti has finished falling, but fans are lingering in their seats long after the end of Game 5, aware they may not see another game at Oracle Arena this season.
The Warriors have a 3-2 lead after their 104-91 victory behind 37 points from Stephen Curry. They can win the title with a victory Tuesday in Cleveland, and if not, they will get another chance Friday night in Game 7.
If this was the last game here, what a season it was. The Warriors are 48-4 at home this season.
7:50 p.m. PDT
Stephen Curry scored 37 points and the Golden State Warriors took a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals with a 104-91 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
Curry had 17 in the fourth quarter, including seven straight to put away the game after Cleveland got within eight points in the final 2 minutes.
The Warriors can win their first championship since 1975 with a victory Tuesday in Cleveland. Game 7, if necessary, would be back here on Friday.
LeBron James finished with 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for the Cavaliers. Tristan Thompson had 19 points and 10 boards.
7:35 p.m. PDT
There’s very few prettier sights than a Stephen Curry 3-pointer — and few louder sounds than when it goes in at rocking Oracle Arena.
And when Curry made one to give Golden State a 96-86 lead with 2:43 to play, the deafening crowd reaction lasted well into the timeout that it forced Cleveland to take.
Curry and Klay Thompson had made back-to-back 3s midway through the quarter as the Warriors continued to hit from deep whenever the Cavaliers got close.
7:25 p.m. PDT
LeBron James is once again doing it all for the Cavaliers.
The King has another triple-double, in what appears will be another close finish in the NBA Finals.
Cleveland tied Golden State at 75-all after James assisted on Iman Shumpert’s 3-pointer from the corner. James had made a 3-pointer on the Cavaliers’ previous basket as they quickly wiped out a six-point deficit.
James had a triple-double in Game 2 and has 14 in his postseason career. He came into this game averaging 35.8 points, 12 rebounds and 8.3 assists in the series.
He has at 34 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists with just a little more than 7 minutes to play. But after a James 3-pointer, the Splash Brothers answered.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Warriors an 85-80 lead.
7:15 p.m. PDT
Warriors coach Steve Kerr says defending the Cavaliers in Game 5 is a dual challenge — the combination of LeBron James being great again and Cleveland’s shooters still being a concern.
“We have to keep scrambling because they’re playing small tonight, they’ve got shooters on the floor, so it’s a mixture of getting to LeBron and helping and then getting back to their shooters,” Kerr told ABC’s Doris Burke between the third and fourth quarters.
The Cavs going to a smaller lineup might have been a bit of a surprise, especially given how spectacular Timofey Mozgov — a non-factor in Game 5 — was in Game 4.
Kerr says Game 5 will come down to which team plays smarter.
“Everybody wants to win badly,” Kerr said. “Sometimes it takes you away from your poise and execution.”
The game is tied at 75 with 9:23 to play.
6:40 p.m. PDT
The Cavaliers are starting the second half with J.R. Smith and center Timofey Mozgov on the bench.
Mozgov started the game but played just 5 minutes in the first half as Cleveland went to its bench to counter the small lineup used by the Warriors.
Too bad for Mozgov.
He just had the best game of his career in Game 4, scoring 28 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. But the 7-foot-1 center can’t cover anyone the Warriors are using Sunday night.
6:21 p.m. PDT
Now that’s good basketball.
It’s hard to get much better than the first half of Game 5.
Golden State leads Cleveland 51-50 after Harrison Barnes’ three-point play with 3.2 seconds left. He slammed down a follow dunk of Stephen Curry’s miss while getting fouled by LeBron James.
James is once again doing it all for the Cavs, yet again flirting with another triple-double. He has 20 points, matching his total from Game 4, with eight rebounds and eight assists. J.R. Smith came off the bench for 14 points.
Curry had 15 for the Warriors, who shot 54 percent.
The series has had three close games — Games 1 and 2 both went to overtime — but they weren’t particularly well played. This one is so far, with 12 lead changes and six ties in the first 24 minutes.
6 p.m. PDT
Stephen Curry is hitting from behind arc. LeBron James is scoring from just about everywhere.
The NBA Finals’ biggest stars are both playing well for one of the few times in the series. James had 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists at the midway point of the second quarter. He has scored or assisted on the Cavs’ last 13 baskets.
Curry had made all three of his 3-point attempts at the same point, going 5 for 6 overall for 13 points.
The series was hyped as a matchup between Curry, this season’s MVP, and James, the four-time winner.
So far in Game 5, both are in that MVP form.
5:45 p.m. PDT
David Blatt offered a simple answer when asked by ABC’s Doris Burke after the first quarter what J.R. Smith making shots means to the general mood of the Cavaliers.
“Makes everybody happy,” Blatt said, after Smith made a pair of 3-pointers in the opening quarter.
Before the game, Blatt told his team that the biggest thing they can exclusively control is their effort.
“We’ve come this far, fellas,” Blatt said. “We have come this far and come through a lot because we have never given in.”
Smith has 14 points with more than 8 minutes to play in the second quarter.
5:40 p.m. PDT
At center for the Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James.
With small-ball making a big impact at the NBA Finals, James ended up as Cleveland’s de facto man in the middle after center Timofey Mozgov and power forward Tristan Thompson went to the bench early.
The unconventional lineup helped the Cavs recover after Golden State’s quick start, and it was tied at 22 after one quarter.
Listed at 6-foot-8, James was on the floor as the Cavs surged back with J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Matthew Dellavedova and James Jones. James mostly played on the perimeter on offense, using his speed advantage when Draymond Green defended him.
James and Smith finished with eight points in the period. Green had 10.
The Warriors had started the shift to small when they inserted Andre Iguodala into their starting lineup in Game 4.
5:30 p.m. PDT
Two 3-pointers and one flagrant foul in an eventful first few minutes for J.R. Smith.
Ice cold in the NBA Finals, Smith came off the bench and hit two quick 3-point attempts after going 0 for 8 from behind the arc in Game 4.
Then he leveled Draymond Green with a forearm toward the head area while trying to fight through a screen, drawing a flagrant foul 1.
The Cavaliers went to Smith early to match up with Golden State’s small lineups.
Green, playing as an undersized center, had gotten free for a couple of easy baskets while Timofey Mozgov struggled to defend his speed.
The Cavs took their first lead of the game at 17-16 with 2:46 to play in the first quarter.
4:05 p.m. PDT
Stephen Curry is off to a rough start — he missed all five of his pregame “hallway” shots.
Curry airballed his first attempt, twice hit the front of the rim, then the side of the backboard and the back rim on last try. Curry stayed to sign autographs for fans crowding the stands around the tunnel before heading to Golden State’s locker room.
Curry had made at least one hallway shot in the previous two home games of the NBA Finals. He ends each his extensive pregame routine with the shot, which is taken about 15 feet behind the Warriors’ bench.
AP Basketball Writers Antonio Gonzalez and Tim Reynolds, and Sports Writer Josh Dubow contributed to this report.
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