There was no monster game from MVP point guard Stephen Curry, just a well-balanced and well-oiled team seeking its first NBA title in 40 years. The Golden State Warriors capitalized on 19 Cleveland Cavaliers turnovers to claim the NBA Finals with a 105-97 victory in Game 6 Tuesday night.
Golden State swingman Andre Iguodala led the way with 24 points, and after never starting a game until the finals picked up the series MVP. Draymond Green notched a triple-double of 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
As he’s done throughout the series, Curry got hot in the fourth and poured in 25 points on 8-for-19 shooting, with eight assists and three steals. But it was the Warriors active hands on defense and relentless offensive pressure that led to 25 points off Cleveland giveaways and to their latest title since 1975.
Marking the fourth loss in the finals of his career, the Cavs forward LeBron James scored 32 points, with 18 rebounds and nine assists over 47 minutes. James tried to get his teammates involved early and often, but the Cavs turnover woes created a deficit as high as 15 points and a Warriors momentum that couldn’t be overcome.
Cleveland's J.R. Smith nailed three straight threes in the final 1:14 to cut the lead to four, but Golden State squashed the late push from the free throw line.
With big men Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson each recording a double-double, the Cavs made up for their turnovers on the glass, winning the rebound battle 30-16 in the first half and 56-38 overall.
It nearly worked with the Cavs taking a 47-45 lead early in the third quarter of consecutive baskets from Thompson and Mozgov, but Golden State would respond with its depth.
Guard Klay Thompson was forced to sit after committing his third foul of the game with less than 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter, limiting the second Splash Brother from Golden State’s arsenal of shooters. Thompson wouldn’t hit his second field goal until midway through the fourth quarter to finish with five points and five rebounds.
But forward Harrison Barnes and Iguodala stepped up with their sharpshooting to keep the Warriors lead intact heading into halftime and late in the game. Center Festus Ezeli also came up off the bench to notch 10 points in 11 minutes to challenge Mozgov inside, and guard Shaun Livington chipped in 10 points over 32 minutes.
The Warriors shook off a 3-for-10 run from the floor in the first quarter, only to go 7-for-8 and put the Cavs in an early deficit they could never really recover from.
After playing only nine minutes in Game 5, Mozgov made his presence felt on both ends, including three blocks in the second quarter to hinder Golden State’s shots in the paint.
Golden State started off cold from three but Green and Igoudala knocked down back-to-back attempts to build a 23-15 lead with less than two minutes left in the first. And for the second straight game the Cavs were plagued by turnover trouble early, committing eight giveaways in the opening period and the Warriors countering to score nine points.
Neither side shot especially well in the first half. Cleveland went 8-for-23 from the field, and Golden State 13-for-31 at the 7:39 mark in the second, but the Warriors ball movement was far superior with 12 assists to the Cavs three.
The Cavs still managed to chip away at the lead and were only down 45-43 heading into the half after Thompson followed a missed James layup with a sweeping put-back dunk with three seconds left in the second.