National Basketball Association
Preview
Golden State at Cleveland
When: 9:00 PM ET, Thursday, June 16, 2016
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Cavaliers needed historic performances from Kyrie Irving and LeBron James to stay alive in the NBA Finals, and the two stars delivered. James and Irving will try to follow up their incredible efforts when Draymond Green returns to the lineup and the Golden State Warriors visit the Cavaliers with another chance to close out the series in Game 6 on Thursday.

Green was hit with a one-game suspension after the NBA deemed his hit to James’ groin in Game 4 a flagrant foul, and the Warriors defense was noticeably less cohesive without its leader. “I thought our defensive communication was lacking,” Golden State coach Steve Ker told reporters. “We had some plays where we didn’t pick up in transition and we had some cross matches that we didn’t identify and they got free, especially Kyrie, and made a lot of shots in transition where we just weren’t there.” James and Irving became the first pair of teammates in NBA Finals history to score at least 40 points in the same game when they both finished with 41 in Game 5, and Irving went 9-of-14 from the field in the second half as Cleveland pulled away. "You've got a guy like this who is very special," James told reporters of Irving. "It's probably one of the greatest performances I've ever seen live."

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ABC

ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Golden State’s defense took a second hit in addition to the loss of Green when anchor Andrew Bogut went down early in the third quarter of Game 5 with a knee injury. Bogut did not return to the game and underwent an MRI exam that revealed bone bruises that will force him out for the rest of the Finals but will not require surgery. The Warriors could make up for the loss with a little help on the offensive end from MVP Steph Curry, who went 8-of-21 from the field on Monday and is averaging 22.2 points on 42.4 percent shooting in the series – down from a league-best 30.1 points on 50.4 percent in the regular season.

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS:
Cleveland is trying to become the first team ever to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals and needs another blistering effort from Irving and James, who combined to account for 97 of the team’s 112 points in Game 5 including assists to other teammates. "Same thing,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue told reporters of the plan for Game 6 at home. “Continue to be aggressive, continue to bring physicality and continue to attack.” Cleveland got forward Kevin Love back from a concussion in Game 5 but the former All-Star was limited to two points on 1-of-5 shooting in 33 minutes.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. James is averaging 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in the series and committed only two turnovers in Game 5.

2. Cleveland C Tristan Thompson is averaging 14 rebounds in the two wins and eight in the three losses in the series.

3. Golden State went 3-of-22 from 3-point range in the second half on Monday after hitting 11-of-21 before the break.

PREDICTION: Warriors 102, Cavaliers 97
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Golden State 88-16 L1 50-4 38-12 10-2 78-14 15-1 58-11
Cleveland 71-30 W1 41-9 30-21 7-3 64-27 12-8 47-19
Last Meeting
Golden State Cleveland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
6/13/16 CLE 112 GS 97 97 43 36.4 112 41 53.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Golden State K. Thompson 37 55.0 9
Cleveland K. Irving 41 70.8 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Golden State A. Iguodala 11 4 7
Cleveland L. James 16 4 12
Assists Player  
Golden State A. Iguodala 6
Cleveland L. James 7
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Golden State S. Curry 2900 49.7 454
Cleveland L. James 2426 51.9 428
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Golden State D. Green 1017 173 844
Cleveland K. Love 928 180 748
Assists Player  
Golden State D. Green 739
Cleveland L. James 660
Quickchart Matchup
Golden State Off vs  Cleveland Defense
113.6 Points For
97.9 Points Against
48.2 FG%
44.8 FG%
45.7 Reb
40.5 Reb
Cleveland Off vs  Golden State Defense
104.4 Points For
104.0 Points Against
46.2 FG%
43.3 FG%
40.5 Reb
44.3 Reb