Keys to Game 5 of NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors

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CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 09: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Here are the Keys to Game 5 to watch for the Cleveland Cavaliers to stay alive in the series:

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals 137 116 and forced a Game 5.  The Warriors are up 3-1 and are looking to finish series Monday night for their second NBA Championship in three years. The Cavaliers came out with incredible energy in Game 4 and had basically a near perfect game. Cleveland scored an incredible 49 points in the first quarter and 86 points in the first half. Both marks set NBA Finals records.  Here are the keys to Game 5 to watch for the Cavaliers to stay alive in the series.

First Key: Batman and Superman Will Have to Have Another Perfect Game

In Game 4, Kyrie Irving scored 40 points and LeBron James continued his triple double in the NBA Finals with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Both Batman and Superman will have to both have great games in Game 5 to give the Cavaliers any chance especially on the Warriors home court.

Second Key: Tristan Thompson Will Need to Get Double-Digit Rebounds Again

Tristan Thompson was largely absent from the first three games of the series. He came back to grab ten rebounds in Game 4. Several of his four offensive rebounds directly led to second chance points for the Cavaliers.

Third Key:  Kevin Love and J.R. Smith Will Need to Shoot Well Again

Kevin Love shot 6 for 8 from three-point range for 23 points in Game 4. Love also had some incredible full-court passes that demonstrated that Love is the best passer in Cleveland including the Cleveland Browns. In Game 5, Love has to continue to hit the timely three-point shot and be the main outlet for passes from James and Irving drives. J.R. Smith shot 50% from the field and scored 15 points in Game 4.

Fourth Key:  Cavaliers Cannot Let Stephen Curry Take Uncontested 3-Point shots

The Cavaliers largely shut down Stephen Curry in Game 4. Iman Shumpert shadowed Curry through screens and only allowed Curry to take one uncontested three-point shot. Curry only scored 14 points. The Cavaliers have got better at defending Curry during the Finals. In Game 1, Curry took 11 uncontested three-point shots and scored 28 points. In Game 2, Curry took six uncontested three-point shots and scored 32 points. In Game 3, Curry took three uncontested three-point shots and scored 26 points. The Cavaliers have clearly decided to let Kevin Durant beat them, but not both Durant and Curry.

The worry for the Cavaliers is that they simply cannot play as well as they did in Game 4, but the fact remains that they will have to be close to duplicating that effort in Game 5 to have a chance at extending the series. Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Cavaliers starts at 9:00 PM ET/8:00 PM CT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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