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Game 5 Preview: Warriors vs. Cavaliers - 6/12/17

Golden State Leads Series 3-1

A CHANCE TO MAKE HISTORY ON WARRIORS GROUND
The Warriors will look to do something on Monday that they’ve never done before: Win a championship in front of their Bay Area fans. Going into Game 5, the Dubs own a 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals, and a win would give them their championship in the last three seasons. The Warriors’ two most recent titles were clinched on the road – in Cleveland in 2015 and in Washington, D.C. in 1975, and the team’s prior championship seasons took place while the franchise was based in Philadelphia. Monday night presents a golden opportunity for the Warriors as they attempt to fend off the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who will be looking to once again prolong the series. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. the game can be seen on ABC or heard on 95.7 The Game, ESPN Radio and the Warriors Radio Network.

LAST TIME OUT
What had been a perfect postseason run suffered its first blemish as the Dubs suffered a 137-116 defeat in Cleveland on Friday in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. The Dubs dug themselves a hole early in this one, and Cleveland’s perimeter shooting, along with 22 free throw attempts, had everything to do with it. When all was said and done, the Dubs were down by 16 at the end of the first quarter, and they were never able to fully recover. Full Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
Playoff Ranks

GSW
3-1
118.7 PPG (1st)
46.0 RPG (2nd)
28.3 APG (1st)

CLE
1-3
116.0 PPG (2nd)
42.3 RPG (9th)
22.1 APG (6th)

PROJECTED STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia
CLE: Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: None. Team Notes
CLE: Edy Tavares (right hand fracture) is out. Team Notes

A SPLASH OFF?
In each of the first three games, the Warriors made more 3-pointers and a shot a higher percentage from the perimeter than the Cavs. The Warriors won those three games. In Game 4 on Friday, Cleveland more than doubled the Dubs’ total 3-point output, and the Cavs shot 53 percent from the perimeter to just 28 percent for the Dubs. And as you well know, the Cavs won Game 4. That’s not to say that 3-point shooting is the only factor in these games, but it certainly is a key factor. The Dubs and Cavs were two of the most prolific 3-point shooting teams during the regular season. Actually, the Cavs had a slight edge in both 3-point shooting percentage, makes and takes.

TEAM PLAYOFF LEADERS

GSW
PTS: Durant (27.8)
REB: Green (8.9)
AST: Green (6.5)

CLE
PTS: James (32.4)
REB: Love (10.6)
AST: James (7.8)

RISE TO THE OCCASION
There is no shortage of starpower in this series. Between the two squads, there are seven 2017 NBA All-Stars, and already we’ve some incredible performances that will go down win the annals of the NBA Finals. From Stephen Curry and LeBron James posting triple-doubles to Kyrie Irving’s sensational Game 4 offensive display to Kevin Durant’s iconic game-winner in Game 3, basketball fans have relished in the opportunity to see some of the game’s best players do work. So who’s next? Is Klay Thompson in store for one of his patented offensive takeovers? Can Cleveland’s Kevin Love build off the hot shooting he showed off in Game 4? Or will it be Draymond Green taking advantage of the opportunities afforded to him by the Cleveland defense double-teaming Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry? Whatever happens, it’s sure to keep Dub Nation on the edge of their seats. Can Monday night get here already?

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