OAKLAND, Calif. — The Cavaliers are still in the game after a jaw-dropping, record-breaking performance in Oakland Monday.
The record? LeBron James and Kyrie Irving both hit the 40-plus mark in the fourth quarter, marking the first time in NBA Finals history that two teammates scored more than 40 points each in the same game.
The Cavs beat the Warriors, 112-97.
“We needed those two guys to give us confidence early, and they did that,” said Cavs Head Coach Tyronn Lue. “Everyone that played in the game, everyone on the bench stayed engaged. We made some mistakes, but the guys never gave in. We never quit.”
“Our coaching staff gave us a great game plan,” said James. “As one of the leaders of the team, we just went out and executed.”
During the first quarter, LeBron James led the team in scoring with 12 points. J.R. Smith had 10 and Kyrie Irving had 7.
But during the second quarter, the team was on fire. Irving was making shots left and right, and James put up 13 more. The game was tied at 61 at the end of the half.
But the numbers kept going up. After three quarters, James had 36 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
In the end, James got a total of 41 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. Irving had 41 points on 17 for 24 shooting and added six assists for the Cavs.
“They were incredible tonight,” Kevin Love said of Irving and James. “Played down hill. Got to their shots. Got to the free throw line. Made some miraculous plays really on both ends. They were huge for us tonight. They’re what kept us over the hump.”
“Huge win,” said the Cavs’ Tristan Thompson. “It was all or nothing.”
Golden State now leads the series 3-2. The Warriors clinched last year’s title with a Game 6 win in Cleveland.
“We’re not satisfied, and we understand the magnitude of what Game 6 means for us at home,” said Irving. “It will be an incredible level that they’re going to play at and we need to play at an even better level.”