Taking a Closer Look Golden State at Cleveland NBA Finals Odds Preview Game 6 & TV InfoWhen: Thursday, June 16, 9 PM ET Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland TV: ABC
NBA Odds: Cavaliers -2 (207.5)
Warriors at Cavaliers Historic Betting TrendsThe Cavs won Game 5 112-97 as the Warriors’ defense just wasn’t the same without Green, who is first-team all-defense. LeBron James had 41 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, and Kyrie Irving also scored 41 points. They were the first pair of teammates in NBA Finals history to each score at least 40 points in the same game. Each had their first 40-point game of the season in the NBA Finals. Only three other players have scored 40 in the Finals after not scoring 40 prior to that: Cliff Hagan (1961 Hawks), Magic Johnson (1980 Lakers) and James Worthy (1989 Lakers).
James and Irving scored or assisted on 97 of the Cavaliers’ 112 points in Game 5 (87 percent). That’s the second-highest percentage of points they’ve scored or assisted on as teammates. Each of the Cavaliers’ final 25 made baskets were either scored or assisted by James or Irving. The Warriors tried different rotations and switches but James repeatedly found the soft spot to shoot over the weakest defender.
The Warriors played well in the first half but it was a tight second half for Golden State. Tied 61-all at halftime, the Warriors missed 14 of their first 20 shots out of intermission and shot 7-for-24 in the third. The Warriors made just 3 of 21 3-pointers in the second half, a solitary 1-of-10 in the final frame. Klay Thompson scored 37 points with six 3-pointers, and Steph Curry added 25 points with five 3s, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Both were cold in the second half for the most part.
Cleveland handed Golden State just its fourth defeat all season at sold-out Oracle Arena. But Green will be back for Game 6 from his suspension. He is a ferocious interior presence for the Warriors and allows the rest of their versatile group to switch liberally and make it hard on the Cavaliers to get open looks from the perimeter.
However, Warriors starting center Andrew Bogut is likely out. He hurt his knee in the third quarter of Game 5. Bogut plays a fraction of Green’s minutes — but, like Green, he’s a key figure on defense. The Warriors were in this position a year ago, by choice. In polishing off the Cavaliers in the 2015 Finals, they benched Bogut and started a smaller lineup that featured Green — listed at 6-7 — as the big man in the middle. Bogut did travel to Cleveland awaiting MRI results. Although the Warriors have been outscored by 25 points in Bogut’s 60 minutes in the series, he was a major spark in Golden State’s Game 2 victory at home with six blocked shots.
No team has ever lost in the NBA Finals after leading the series 3-1. Only twice has a team down 3-1 forced a Game 7.