Delly-icious: Aussie, LeBron lift Cavs in thriller
Akron Beacon Journal
The Cavaliers are halfway to their first championship in franchise history.
LeBron James scored 40 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and passed for eight assists, guard Matthew Dellavedova scored 20 points in Game 3 and the Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 96-91 to take a 2-1 series lead in the NBA Finals Tuesday night.
Game 3 is Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.
The injury-ravaged Cavs continue to find ways against the heavily-favored Warriors despite all odds.
“We know we have to get more out of ourselves than maybe even humanly possible sometimes,” Cavs coach David Blatt said. “But that’s the situation. We have a chance to do something very special, and if it requires us to go above and beyond, that’s what we’ve got to do.”
James made two huge plays near the end of the game to secure the victory, slapping the ball away from Curry to force a turnover and later stealing an inbounds pass from Curry. James was fouled after the steal and made both free throws to put the Cavs ahead 92-83 in the final minute.
Curry committed three turnovers in the last two minutes, including two in the final minute. But he also made a 3-pointer from the corner with 28 seconds left to pull the Warriors within 92-88.
A pair of James free throws made it 94-88, but Curry cut the lead in half with a 3-pointer from the wing. The Warriors trailed the entire night and couldn’t get any closer, however, in losing consecutive games for the second time in this postseason. They also fell behind 2-1 to the Memphis Grizzlies in the conference semifinals before rallying to win three straight.
But the Grizzlies didn’t have James.
Curry scored 27 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter (five 3-pointers) after another slow start.
James and Dellavedova combined for the Cavs’ first 17 points of the third quarter and the Cavs extended their lead to 68-48, their largest lead of the night. Yet just when the Warriors looked overwhelmed and fading, they found a way to climb back.
Curry made a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper near the end of the third, then the Warriors outscored the Cavs 15-3 to start the fourth.
Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala made 3-pointers, David Lee completed a three-point play and the Warriors pulled within 77-73 on Curry’s third 3-pointer of the night. He had a chance to tie the game at 79 a few minutes later, but his 3-pointer rimmed out and Dellavedova found James for a lob dunk to push the Cavs’ lead back to 81-76 with 3:51 to play.
When a 3-pointer from Curry pulled the Warriors within a point, Dellavedova again answered at the other end. Dellavedova lost the dribble, clumsily chased it and tossed up a shot while he was fouled and falling over. The shot, of course, banked in and he completed the three-point play.
James splashed a 3-pointer following a Warriors turnover to extend the lead back to 87-80 with 1:40 left. The Warriors called a timeout while James played to the crowed, pretending to unload his gun and put it back in its holster.