Cavaliers Force 7th Game in NBA Finals

LeBron says he's "chill" and will sleep well tonight and Saturday before Game 7.
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have become the first team in 50 years to come back from a 3 to one deficit and force a game 7 in the NBA Finals.   The Cavs defeated the Warriors last night at Quicken Loans Arena 115 to 101.  Ideastream’s Mark Urycki has details . .

It happened one year to the day that the Warriors were celebrating a championship with champagne in the visitors’ locker room of the Q after beating the Cavs in Game 6.

But last night Cleveland fans outside the arena were ecstatic at the realization that their team, which looked so overmatched after four games, could claw its way back to tie the best of seven series at 3 to 3.  

One was John Seas of Columbus:

“The energy from start to finish was nonstop, I mean from pregame warm-ups all the way to the end. The crowd was so into it, I’ve never been in a building this loud.”

Kevin Love, LeBron James, and others were all talking about the fan support afterward.  

The Cavs jumped out to a big lead, ahead 31 to 11 after the first quarter. But the Warriors became the best team in basketball this season by storming back with 3 point shots.  Cavaliers Coach Tyronn Lue said the crowd gave them the energy to hold on.

“Just being around the city and just walking around, just the love we get around here.  Then the fans tonight were just unbelievable.  When they came back and cut that lead to 8 the fans stayed engaged.  They never wavered.  And we want to give Cleveland a championship; we want to give the state of Ohio a championship; we want to give the Cleveland organization a championship.  So that’s what were all about, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

League MVP Steph Curry played a good game for Golden State but fouled out with 4 ½ minutes to go.  He couldn’t match the force of nature that is LeBron James.  For the second game in a row he scored 41 points.  At one point in the second half James scored 18 points in a row for the Cavs. 

Speaking after the game Kyrie Irving just shakes his head at his teammate.

“We kinda knew what he was up to, what he was trying to do for us offensively.  That 4th quarter was just unbelievable. When he’s playing in between, like that midrange and outside, and driving to the rim, and also creating opportunities for all of us .It makes the game a lot easier.  It's just unbelievable to be a part of.”

Soften-spoken Canadian Tristan Thompson had a monster game with points and rebounds in double figures before half time.  He said he was just doing his job.  

LeBron James plays it nonchalantly too.  The kid from Akron knows what a championship would mean to Northeast Ohio, but he claims he doesn’t get caught up in the emotion of it all.

"Nope. I just play. I know what I put into the game I know how true I am to the game, how true to these fans.  So, no I don’t let it get to me.”

Steph Curry said the Warriors aren’t going to let this loss get to them.  Golden State came back from a 3 to 1 deficit to won the Western Conference Finals and Sunday’s game will be in Oakland.

But Cavs fans are a lot less worried than they were a week ago.

John Seas: “They’re rattled, they’re getting frustrated, Steph Curry is throwing a temper tantrum on the court right now, he’s getting ejected. We’re in their heads, the Cavs are in their heads, and I think we have a real chance to go out to Oakland on Sunday night and bring home a championship to Cleveland.

Lauren Depompei: “I feel like it’s gonna be an epic game in game 7. They’re on. Everybody’s in sync, in a rhythm, playing together, and they’re just dominating. [Oakland] I don’t think that matters, look at game 5. We still dominated. It doesn’t matter. We’re just so determined to win this, it’s over.

Manu Saresh: “I feel pumped right now, just like the rest of Cleveland. All that matters is game 7. Chances that we win? 100%. It takes heart, it takes the city of Cleveland to believe. We’ve got both of those things.

 Game 7 is Father’s Day at 8pm.

 

With help from Phoebe Petrovic.

Mark.Urycki@ideastream.org

 

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