NBA Finals Game Six: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers

2015 NBA Playoffs
NBA Finals Game #6
#1 Golden State Warriors at #2 Cleveland Cavaliers
Warriors Lead Best of Seven Series 3-2
Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 9:05 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, Ohio
Opening Line: Golden State pick (-130)

Current Line: Golden State -3 1/2
Opening Total: 195
Current Total: 194
Opening Money Line: Warriors -130 / Cavaliers +110
Current Money Line: Warriors -175 / Cavaliers +155

LeBron James has been unbelieveable in this series, but it might not be enough to even force a game seven.
LeBron James has been unbelieveable in this series, but it might not be enough to even force a game seven.

LeBron James is putting up unheard of numbers so far in the NBA Finals averaging 37 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. He has to with two of the Cleveland Cavaliers best players out for the season in forward Kevin Love and guard Kyrie Irving. The problem is the Cavaliers are just matched up against a better team in the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors were trailing 2-1 in this series, but decisive victories in games four and five have them on the brink of their first NBA title since 1975. Game six is Tuesday night in Cleveland. The Cavaliers look to force a game seven Friday night in Oakland.

Golden State went 67-15 and had the best record in basketball. They won the Pacific Division by 11 games over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors swept the #8 seed New Orleans Pelicans in the first round, and then beat the #5 seed Memphis Grizzlies in six games despite trailing 2-1 in the second round series. In the Western Conference Finals, Golden State beat the #2 seed Houston Rockets in five games. Golden State is in the NBA Finals for the first time since winning the championship in 1975.

Cleveland went 53-29 and won the Central Division by three games over the Chicago Bulls. The Cavaliers were the #2 seed in the East, and swept the #7 seed Boston Celtics in the first round. Cleveland trailed 2-1 in the second round series against the #3 seed Bulls, but the Cavaliers won the series in six games. In the Eastern Conference Finals, Cleveland swept the #1 seed Atlanta Hawks. The Cavaliers are back in the Finals for the second time and first since 2007. No Cleveland sports franchise has won a title in any sport since the Browns in 1964.

Golden State won game one at home 108-100 in overtime despite trailing by 14 early in the game. Cleveland upset Golden State 95-93 in overtime in game two to hand the Warriors only their fourth loss at home this season including playoffs. Cleveland tied the series despite playing without All-Stars forward Kevin Love who suffered a dislocated shoulder in the first round against the Celtics and guard Kyrie Irving who suffered a fractured kneecap in overtime of game one. The Cavaliers would win game three at home 96-91 to take a 2-1 series lead. Golden State regained home court advantage with a 103-82 victory in game four. The Warriors took control of the series with a 104-91 victory at home in game five Sunday.

Golden State is coached by Steve Kerr. The Warriors are 57-44-1 ATS and the total is 44-57-2 this season. Golden State was a 9.5 point favorite in game five and the total was 195.Cleveland is coached by David Blatt. The Cavaliers are 49-52 ATS and the total is 41-58-2 this season.

After monster games in the first three games, James had a subpar game four. He actually had to have stitches after the game after taking a nasty spill head first into a camera. He was listed as probable for game five, but he did play and had a another incredible performance.

In game four, Kerr went with a smaller line-up starting Andre Iguodala over center Andrew Bogut. The line-up worked as Golden won in a rout. Kerr started the same line-up in game five. The Warriors jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead. Blatt removed center Timofey Mozgov from the line-up, and replaced him with J.R. Smith with James playing center.

The teams would be tied at 22 after the first quarter and Golden State would take a 51-50 lead into halftime. James scored or assisted on 16 of 17 field goals in the first half. The third quarter was back and forth but Golden State would lead 73-67 by the end of the quarter.

In the fourth James scored 16 of his 40 points, but he was outdueled by league MVP Stephen Curry who scored 17 of his 37 points in the quarter. With just under 8 minutes left in the fourth, James buried a three to give Cleveland an 80-79 lead. However, Curry and Klay Thompson hit back to back threes for the Warriors to give them a five point lead. They would never trail again in a game that featured 20 lead changes and 10 ties. Golden State pulled away for the 13 point victory. The Cavaliers tired in the fourth as they are using only 8 players a game.

Curry finished with 37 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. After the game he was treated for dehydration with an IV, but is probable for game six. Draymond Green had 16 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Iguodala had 14 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals. Leandro Barbosa had 13 points off the bench. Thompson had 12 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Harrison Barnes had 8 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.

James finished with 40 points,  14 rebounds and 11 assists for his second triple double of the finals. He scored or assisted on 70 of the 91 Cleveland points. He has been so incredible there is talk that he could be Finals MVP whether the Cavaliers win or lose the series. Tristan Thompson had 19 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Smith had 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. He did not score in the second half. Iman Shumpert had 10 points and 5 rebounds. The rest of the Cavaliers combined for 8 points.

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Cleveland is outscoring teams 101-93 in the playoffs. The Cavaliers are shooting 43.6% from the field and 35.9% from 3 point range. Cleveland makes 75.5% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 41.2% from the field and 28.1% from 3 point range. Cleveland averages 46.9 rebounds per game and opponents averages 40.4 per game. The Cavaliers average 18.9 assists, 12.3 turnovers, 5.8 steals and 6.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 18.9 assists, 11.1 turnovers, 6.2 steals and 4.6 blocks per game.

The Cavaliers are banged up and certainly aren’t at full strength. LeBron James is averaging 27.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks per game in the playoffs. He is probable after getting stitches after the game on Thursday. Kyrie Irving averaged 18.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Kevin Love is out for the playoffs after suffering a dislocated shoulder in the first round against the Celtics. J.R. Smith averages 13.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Iman Shumpert averages 10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1 block per game. Timofey Mozgov, Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova and James Jones will also get minutes in the rotation. Anderson Varejao is out for the season with a torn Achilles.

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Golden State is outscoring teams 104-96 in the playoffs. Golden State is shooting 46% from the field and 38% from 3 point range. The Warriors are shooting 70.3% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 43.1% from the field and 31% from 3 point range. Golden State averages 46.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.2 per game. The Warriors average 25.1 assists, 15.3 turnovers, 8 steals and 6.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 21.5 assists, 14.2 turnovers, 8.9 steals and 4.5 blocks per game.

Guard Stephen Curry averages 29.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He was named league MVP earlier in the playoffs. Klay Thompson averages 19.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He suffered a concussion in game five against the Rockets, but passed all the concussion protocols and is probable for game one. Draymond Green averages 14 points, 10.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.  Harrison Barnes averages 11.3 points, 5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Marreese Speights returned in game one after missing 8 games with a calf injury. Other key players in the rotation include David Lee, Andre Igoudala, Leandro Barbosa, Andrew Bogut and Shaun Livingston.

Golden State is 7-2 ATS against Eastern Conference teams, 12-5 after a straight up win of 10 points or more, and 0-4 in Tuesday games. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in this series recently. The Warriors have covered 12 of the last 17 against the Cavaliers.

Cleveland is 15-5 ATS against Western Conference teams, 5-2 after allowing 100 points or more, and in Tuesday games, and 7-3 after failing to cover. The under is 3-0-1 in this series. The home team has covered 5 of the last 7 games in this series.

LeBron has had an incredible series, but he isn’t getting nearly enough help from the other Cavaliers. He is wearing down in the fourth quarter of every game because of the heavy load he is carrying on both ends of the court. Just as a basketball fan, I would love to see it go to a game seven. However, Curry is heating up and I think Golden State ends it tonight.

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