OAKLAND: Stephen Curry came off a screen, dribbled behind his back and crossed over Matthew Dellavedova. He stepped back and swished a 3-pointer, then pounded his chest and pointed to the roof, seemingly controlling the sellout crowd of 19,596 on his fingertips.
One more win and the MVP will really have a moment to celebrate.
Curry made seven 3-pointers and scored 37 points, and the Warriors withstood another brilliant performance from LeBron James to outlast the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-91 on Sunday night for a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals.
Curry was spotted rubbing his head and leaning over in a hallway after the game. The Warriors said Curry was receiving fluids in the locker room, watching highlights and should be fine.
With a sellout crowd rocking and roaring in their golden-yellow shirts, Curry and his teammates took control of the game – and possibly the series – in the final minutes. Curry connected inside and out – sometimes way out – to help the Warriors pull away and get in a position they haven’t been in 40 years.
The Warriors will try to win their first title since 1975 on Tuesday night in Cleveland, which hasn’t won a major sports championship in 51 years. Game 7, if necessary, would be in Oakland on Friday night.
The four-time MVP had 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, slowing down the pace the way only he can. He made 15 of 34 shots in 44 minutes.
It was James’ second triple-double of this series. But the depleted Cavs, without injured starters Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, tired again late with a rotation that has gone just seven or eight deep.
Draymond Green had 16 points and nine rebounds, Andre Iguodala added 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and reserve Leandro Barbosa scored 13 points for the deep and talented Warriors.
Tristan Thompson tallied 19 points and 10 rebounds, and J.R. Smith scored all 14 of his points in the first half for Cleveland, which shot 39.5 percent and had no answer for Curry late.
James made a 34-footer with the shot clock about to expire midway through the fourth to cut the Warriors’ lead to 80-79. Curry answered with a step-back 3-pointer and Klay Thompson, who scored 12, followed with another.
Iguodala later hit a 3 and then grabbed a rebound, tossing in a left-handed put back while getting fouled by Tristan Thompson. Iguodala strutted back to midcourt, staring at the crowd – just about all of them on their feet through the fourth – before missing the free throw.
Curry added a cutting layup, then lost Dellavedova off the dribble and stepped back for a 3 that gave Golden State a 96-86 lead with 2:44 left.
Dellavedova dragged Green down going for a rebound in the second quarter, and the officials assessed double fouls after the players got tangled up on the floor. James Jones also grabbed Iguodala with two arms from behind on a layup attempt, which the Warriors argued should’ve been a flagrant foul.
The physical first half ended with Harrison Barnes putting back Curry’s miss for a dunk over James to start a three-point play that put the Warriors up 51-50. James scored or assisted on 16 of Cleveland’s 17 field goals in the half.
17th June, 2015. 6:30Am