CLEVELAND - The Golden State Warriors will try for the franchise's first title in 40 years Tuesday night when they meet the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
The Warriors grabbed a 3-2 series lead Sunday night with a 104-91 victory at Oracle Arena.
Stephen Curry, the regular-season MVP, finally made his big splash in the NBA Finals. He scored 17 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, including two remarkable step-back 3-pointers to lead his team within one game of their first championship since 1975.
You can watch this game on TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5 and TSN GO starting at 8:30pm et/5:30pm pt.
"Signature moments only come for players that hold the trophy at the end of the day," Curry said.
Curry was 13-of-23 from the floor and 7-of-13 from beyond the arc. He was just 15-of-41 from long distance coming in and had yet to reach the 30-point plateau.
LeBron James continues to amaze in these Finals for undermanned Cleveland. He recorded his second triple-double of the series on Sunday with 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. Sixteen of those 40 came in the final period and the two-time Finals MVP is not ready for his season to end.
"I feel confident because I'm the best player in the world. It's that simple," said James.
It was James' sixth career triple-double in the NBA Finals, two away from matching Magic Johnson for the most in NBA history.
"Tremendous is an understatement," Cavaliers coach David Blatt said of James' Finals so far. "He's bringing it."
In a game that featured 20 lead changes and 10 ties, James' left wing 3- pointer from several feet beyond the line staked the Cavaliers to an 80-79 edge with 7:47 left.
It didn't take long for Curry to match.
His rainbow from the right wing 14 seconds later put the Warriors back in front for good. Curry used his right hand to dribble between his legs, went behind his back and stepped back for an off-balanced 3 over nemesis Matthew Dellavedova from the right wing.
Fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson nailed a trey to up the advantage to five, but a James bucket and a short hook in the paint clawed Cleveland within 85-84.
Golden State responded with an 11-2 game-clinching run and Curry capped it with another breathtaking 3 over Dellavedova.
He dribbled behind his back, took a stutter dribble with his left hand and crossed back before stepping back again for another right wing triple and a 96-86 cushion with 2:44 left.
"Those are plays I've been making all year," Curry said of his two 3s.
Cleveland never got within less than seven the rest of the way.
"Falling stepbacks off the dribble, I'm OK with that. We're OK with that," James said. "You tip your hat to the best shooter in the league."
Draymond Green supplied 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Andre Iguodala, again in the starting lineup, provided 14 points, eight boards and seven helpers for the Warriors.
The Cavaliers, who were routed 103-82 in Game 4 when Golden State coach Steve Kerr elected to start his super-small lineup, made some changes of their own Sunday.
Cleveland's starting lineup remained the same, but Timofey Mozgov played less than 10 minutes and didn't score a point following a 28-point, 10-rebound performance Thursday.
Blatt matched the Warriors' small-ball strategy by playing James some minutes at center.
"I felt we needed to respond to the last game," he said. "Without question we were in that game."
Tristan Thompson had 19 points and 10 boards, while J.R. Smith scored all of his 14 points in the first half for Cleveland.
Game 7, if needed, would be Friday night back at Oracle Arena.