Facing elimination before a raucous Oracle Arena contingent, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving offered crucial season-saving performances. The tandem scorched the depleted Warriors for a combined 82 points (41 each), as the gritty Eastern Conference Champions found a way to survive. While Cleveland's season remained afloat upon the broad shoulders of its superstars; the record-breaking Warriors lost for a seventh time this post-season, 112-97.
Many will ascribe both Golden State's failure to close, and the offensive explosions of Irving and James, to the absence of defensive-stalwart Draymond Green. Due to accrued flagrant-foul points, the Warriors' emotional leader served a mandatory suspension for Monday night's contest.
Golden State's stifling interior defense was dealt another blow as Andrew Bogut suffered a game-ending left knee sprain late in the second quarter. Minus Bogut, Cleveland outscored the Warriors plus-17 the remainder of the game.
Here are today's Loud Links for Game 5 of the NBA Finals:
CBS Sports chronicles the record-setting performance of Cleveland's dynamic duo in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Flanked by team General Manager Bob Myers and NFL legend Marshawn Lynch, Draymond Green enjoyed some popcorn, and a Golden State loss, from the Oakland Coliseum.
Irving went full blown "Uncle Drew" mode and the internet responded. Here are some of social media's top reactions to what LeBron described as "one of the greatest performances in Finals history."
After this vicious revenge dunk, it's clear no one puts baby in a corner.
It's because one doesn't exist. The Ringer's Jason Concepcion examines why.
New Zealand artist Graham Hoete pays homage to the "Kiwi Warrior" in the Big Friendly. After the all-out assault Adams withstood in the WCF against Draymond Green, it's well deserved.