The Golden State Warriors finally seem to be alive after struggling through the opening games of the NBA Finals. League MVP Stephen Curry scored 37 points, outmatching LeBron James (40 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists) and leading the Warriors to a 104-91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.
Here’s what you need to know if you missed Game 5.
Star of the Game: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Chef Curry finally started cooking in Game 5, scoring 37 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and dishing four assists in the Golden State win. More impressively, he hit 13 of his 23 shots from the field. Curry’s seven 3-pointers ranks second in an NBA Finals game, behind only Ray Allen in the 2010 Finals.
Play of the Game: Curry breaks Matthew Dellavedova’s ankles
LeBron James’ wild 34-foot-3-pointer gave Cleveland an 80-79 lead and what appeared to be momentum. But on the next possession, Curry faked left, then right, and isolated Cleveland guard Matthew Dellavedova nearly left his feet on both crossovers. Curry’s step-back three put Golden State ahead, 82-80, sparking a 25-11 run to close the game.
Number of the Game: 17
Despite some underwhelming performances in the finals, Curry really got his shot going in the fourth quarter on Sunday night. He scored 17 points on 5-for-7 shooting in the last period alone. The mark ties for the most in any fourth quarter during an NBA Finals in the last 40 years.
Surprise of the Game: LeBron James’ superhuman night goes to waste
Cleveland forward LeBron James had one of his best games of the postseason, posting 40 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists during his 45 minutes on the floor. But the rest of his team mustered only 51 points. The only other player who really showed up for Game 5 was Tristan Thompson, who scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. For the Cavaliers to have any shot to win, James has to get more help from his teammates.
Advanced Stat of the Game: Individual offensive rating
Individual offensive rating takes into account the amount of points a player would produce if given 100 possessions during a basketball game. Curry dominated Game 5 with his efficiency and posted an offensive rating of 127 in 42 minutes of game time. That mark would have ranked No. 2 among all players in the NBA during the regular season, behind only Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler, who scores easier shots much less often than Curry.
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