The Cleveland Cavaliers have managed to turn the tables on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals after their 115-101 home win game six of the best-of-seven series at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on June 16th. The Cavs had their backs against the wall for the past two contests after falling behind in the series 3-1. But now both teams face a must-win situation in the NBA Finals Game 7 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland this Sunday, June 19th 2016. If Cleveland manages to pull it off they’ll become the first team in NBA history to win a Final series after trailing 3-1. The Warriors managed to beat the Cavs in six games in last year’s championship series, but everything’s on the line this Sunday.

Warriors vs Cavaliers – bet365 NBA Finals Game 7 Betting Line:

  • bet365 lists Golden State at -4.5 points at 10/11 with Cleveland +4.5 at 10/11 with the over/under at 206.5 points at 10/11. Golden State is favored to win at 25/48 with Cleveland 167/100

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Cleveland’s LeBron James once again scored 41 points, just like he did in game five last Monday in his club’s 112-97 victory. His teammate Kyrie Irving also racked up 41 points in the fifth game and Irving helped out with 23 points on Thursday. Tristan Thompson chipped in with 15 points and J.R. Smith helped the Cavs’ cause with 14. Cleveland controlled most areas of the game as their field goal percentage was 51.9 compared to Golden State’s 40.2 per cent. They also led in free-throw percentage at 78.1 to 69.0 as well as in total rebounds at 54 to 48, assists at 24-19, steals at 12-5, blocks at seven to three and 42 points in the paint compared to the Warriors’ 30.

Golden State managed to lead in three-point shooting percentage at 38.5 to 37.0, but they also led in turnover at 14-12. But more importantly, one area they never led in during the game was on the scoreboard. When all of those stats are added up it combines for a well-deserved triumph by the home team. The Cavs were better defensively and outworked their opponents throughout in both ends of the court even though the Warriors’ defensive ace Draymond Green returned to the lineup after being suspended for game six. Stephen Curry managed to score 30 point for the Warriors, but went just eight for 20 from the field while Klay Thompson went nine for 21 and added 25 points. The only other Golden State player to score in double digits was Leandro Barbosa with 14 points.

But perhaps one of the biggest talking points of the game was the fact that the Warriors ran into foul problems, most notably Curry. The two-time and reigning league MVP was called for half a dozen fouls and Golden State head coach Steve Kerr wasn’t at all happy about the officiating, but said it\’snot the reason his team lost. Curry obviously wasn’t happy either as he was ejected late in the game for throwing his mouthpiece out arguing with referee Jason Phillips. It’s the first ejection of Curry’s career and he immediately apologized to the courtside fan who was hit with the mouthpiece. However, the officiating wasn’t one sided as both teams finished the game with 25 fouls called on them.

The Warriors won 73 regular-season games this season, lost just twice at home in both the regular-season and the playoffs and never dropped three games in a row, but they’re just 48 minutes from blowing what seemed to be a sure-thing after game four. Irving appeared to injure his ankle in the third quarter on Thursday, but remained in the game. However, he scored just three points in the final frame. James’ consecutive 41-point games gives him five 40-plus point games in Finals during his career. He also became just the fifth player in NBA history to score at least 40 points in back-to-back final contests.

The momentum appears to be all with Cleveland at the moment and they’re not the ones who need to change their game plan and tactics. Anything can happen in a seventh and deciding game and hopefully it won’t be a one-sided affair on Sunday night no matter who emerges victorious.

by Ian S. Palmer