MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Golden State Warriors are one win away from winning their first NBA championship in 40 years.
Thanks to some late game heroics by Andre Iguodala and a brilliant performance by league MVP Steph Curry, the Warriors pulled away from LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter to win Game 5 of the NBA Finals, 104-91, on Monday, June 15 (Sunday in US time) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Curry, who scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, finished with 37 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 7 three-pointers. Iguodala, who started for a second consecutive game, put up 14 points, 8 rebonds, and 7 assists.
Draymond Green was also superb, registering 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.
James, who had his second triple-double in this series, was fantastic again with 40 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists. Tristan Thompson had 19 points and 10 rebounds.
"I hope on Tuesday we can hold that trophy. That's all I want to do," said Curry. "We're confident. We're not getting ahead of ourselves. But we know the sense of urgency of the moment."
Clinging to an 85-84 lead, the Warriors went on a 19-5 spurt late in the fourth quarter to secure the victory, Curry scoring 12 points in the run.
The NBA's top 3-point shooter sank two impressive shots from beyond the arc in the span and for the game made 13-of-23 from the floor and 7-of-13 from 3-point range.
"That was just Steph taking over the game," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "He took over the game down the stretch and was fantastic."
Curry twice answered baskets by Cleveland star James just before the decisive scoring burst. – with reports from Jim Slater, Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com