Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers – Game 6 – Full Highlights – 2016 NBA Finals
The Cleveland Cavaliers have shot down the Golden State Warriors to force a winner-take-all game seven for the NBA title.
The Cavaliers won 115-101 on their home court on Thursday to level the NBA Finals 3-3, with the championship decider on Sunday at the Warriors’ Oracle Arena in Oakland.
LeBron James dominated the game for the Cavaliers with 41 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
“We are going against a great team and we can’t allow ourselves to make mistakes,” James said.
The Warriors missed the defensive presence of 213cm Australian centre Andrew Bogut, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Monday’s game five.
Cavaliers’ centre Tristan Thompson took advantage of Bogut’s absence early with nine rebounds and seven points in the first quarter to set the tone for the game, while the normally offensively potent Warriors were woeful.
At the end of the first quarter the Cavaliers led 31-11.
The Warriors’ 11 points was the lowest first quarter total by a team in the NBA Finals since 1955, when the shot clock was first introduced.
Steph Curry fouled out in the fourth quarter and was so furious he threw his mouthguard, hit a fan and was hit with a technical foul by the referee as a result.
The Warriors appeared to be heading for back-to-back championships after taking a 3-1 series lead, but the Cavaliers could be the first team in NBA history to come back from such a deficit to with the title.
Cleveland’s Australian point guard Matthew Dellavedova appears to have fallen out of favour, with coach Tyronn Lue going with Dahntay Jones and Mo Williams as back-ups to Kyrie Irving.
Dellavedova only entered the game with two minutes left and the Cavaliers with a 21-point lead.
Bogut set to miss Olympics
Meanwhile, Golden State Warriors centre Andrew Bogut, sidelined by a left knee injury for the remainder of the NBA Finals, said it is “very unlikely” he will play for Australia at the Rio Olympics.
The 2.13 metre player will be sidelined at least six to eight weeks after suffering multiple bone bruises in game five of the best-of-seven championship series on Monday.
That offers a best-case, outside chance scenario of Bogut being healthy in time for Rio, but not in prime playing shape for any of the Boomers’ training or Brazil tune-up matches.
“I’m not great at math, but six to eight weeks minimum is what I’ve been told,” Bogut said. “It’s very unlikely at this point, to be honest.”