Coming off the only convincing victory of the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors look to gain a one-game advantage when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena on Sunday night in Game 5. The Warriors used a small but aggressive lineup in Game 4 to even the series with a 21-point win to regain home-court advantage.
According to head coach Steve Kerr, the squad appear to be growing more comfortable against the bigger Cavs lineup. He also suggested that Golden State may have turned the corner after a somewhat rough start to the series.
"I think if you look at the entire playoffs, the first two games at home have been a struggle," said Kerr. "Part of that is just trying to adapt to your opponent and get a feel for what they're doing. Easing into the series. Not easing in, but trying to get a grasp on what you're wanting to accomplishment. So I think we should be better tomorrow because we have a feel for our opponent, and I'm looking for a better game at home."
The Cavs provided an uninspired effort at Quicken Loans Arena, shooting just 33 percent form the field. LeBron James, who had provided scoring efforts of 44, 39 and 44 points in the first three games, scored just 20 points on 7-22 shooting. The four-time MVP has cast aside the notion that the Warriors have an advantage with the victory in Game 4.
"I think when you get to a championship-level type game with it being 2-2, I don't think anyone has the momentum," James said. "Obviously, everyone would say them because they're coming back home, and then after the game they had the other night, but the momentum starts once the game starts."
Cleveland may need another strong effort from Matthew Dellavedova. The young guard has been a catalyst for David Blatt's squad in spurts during the series, but had limited impact on Game 4. The same can be said for guards Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, who struggled from the field and combined to shoot 4-23.
The Warriors may turn to Klay Thompson in Game 5. The high-scoring guard was overshadowed by Andre Iguodala and fellow "Splash Brother" Stephen Curry. Thompson, who averaged 21.7 points in the regular season, finished with just nine points in Game 4.
The Cavs will have a tough task ahead of them. The Warriors have been exceptional at home this season. With a 39-2 regular-season record at Oracle Arena, the Warriors have lost just twice at home in the postseason, including Game 2 of the finals.
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ABC
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Point Spread: Warriors by 8.5 points
Over/Under: 195 points
Prediction: Golden State over Cleveland, 102-90