Steph Curry ejected as LeBron James inspires Cavs to victory to set up a decisive game seven
Published 17/06/2016 | 08:32
LeBron James inspired the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 115-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors to force a deciding game in the NBA Finals.
Cleveland began the week trailing 3-1 in the series but back-to-back 40-point games for their star man - a feat last achieved by Shaquille O'Neal in 2000 - mean the series will go back to Oakland on Sunday.
No team has ever won the finals from 3-1 down, with the Cavaliers only the third of 33 such teams to even force a seventh game. "Records are meant to be broken," was James' simple take on the issue when interviewed on ESPN after the match.
Cleveland led 59-43 at the half, Kyrie Irving with 20 points, before James took charge in the second half to finish with 41 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.
League MVP Stephen Curry, who had 30 points for the Warriors, was ejected for the first time in his career with just over four minutes remaining for a technical foul on James. Curry threw his gumshield away in frustration and had to apologise after it hit a spectator.
The one consolation for Golden State is home advantage in the finale, after dominating the regular season with a 73-9 record. In the 18 previous final series to go the distance, home teams have won the decider 15 times.
James said: "(Curry)'s a great player, they're the best team in the league for a reason - you add in Klay (Thompson), you add in Draymond (Green) and the rest of that group.
"But we've got a lot of pride, got a lot of great guys who love the moment.
"We've got to do everything to win. We'll see what happens, it's going to be a fun one."