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Cavs Lose Game 5 And Series To Golden State Warriors

Cavs fans after Game 5 of the NBA Finals. [Matt Richmond / ideastream]

The Cavaliers came up short in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, losing 129-120 in Oakland to the Golden State Warriors, but the series turned on a heartbreaking loss in Game 3.

Down 2-0, in the first game back in Cleveland, the Cavaliers were in control most of the way in Game 3. But an 11 - 0 run in the last three minutes and some clutch late shooting by series MVP Kevin Durant stole a win for the Warriors. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue pointed to that loss after Game 5 Monday night as a blown opportunity.

“When you have them beat, you have to beat them. You can’t go back and forth or teeter on the fence, you have to beat them," said Lue.

The Cavs went on to dominate Game 4, and could have gone back to Oakland tied 2-2 instead of down 3-1. Khalifa Willis, who attended the Game 5 watch party inside the Q, says the Cavs should be able to make it back again next year.

“Cavs can do something in the east, they just can’t beat the big team that’s in the west, that’s all," said Willis.

Willis says the Cavs need to add a center, someone big enough to stop Kevin Durant. Both teams appear likely for a fourth finals matchup. The Warriors won’t have to worry about resigning Durant, who averaged 35 points a game in the series. They have a core of players – Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green – who will be back. Same for the Cavaliers – LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love will all be back next year.

Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer focused on criminal justice issues at Ideastream Public Media.