CLEVELAND – There will be a Game 7 in the NBA Finals.
Trying and failing to recapture the magic of exactly one year ago, when they won the championship in Game 6 in Cleveland, the Warriors on Thursday were handed a 115-101 defeat by the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
The series tied 3-3, and no one is more responsible than Cavs star LeBron James, who totaled 41 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots to force Game 7 in Oakland on Sunday.
Steph Curry led the Warriors with 30 points but fouled out with 4:22 remaining. He was furious with the call, throwing his mouthpiece, warranting a technical foul and an ejection.
Klay Thompson finished with 25 points and Leandro Barbosa came off the bench to put in 14 for the Warriors.
Forward Andre Iguodala played through back stiffness, going into the locker room to receive treatment, but returned to the game. Moving stiffly, he totaled 5 points, four rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes of action.
The Cavaliers are one of four teams to overcome a 3-1 deficit and force a Game 7. No team has ever come back from such a deficit to win the NBA Finals.
Though Curry and Thompson were the leading scorers, no Warrior was more effective than Barbosa.
Barbosa’s line: 14 points (4-of-5 shooting from the field), two rebounds and two assist. He played 19 minutes and finished plus-8.
Curry made six 3-pointers, giving him a total of 28 in the series -– the most by anyone in an NBA Finals.
This one ended early, as the Cavs raced out to an 8-0 lead, which expanded to 31-11 at the end of the first quarter.
The Warriors did not score until there was 6:54 left in the quarter. They got no closer than seven, 86-79, with 8:06 left in the fourth quarter, before Cleveland went on a 19-8 run to take a 105-87 lead with 3:39 left to play.