CLEVELAND (AP) – The city of Cleveland is two victories away from celebrating its first major championship since Jim Brown and Frank Ryan led the Browns to the 1964 NFL title.
LeBron James just missed a triple-double and Matthew Dellavedova delivered at both ends of the court as the Cavaliers downed the Golden State Warriors 96-91 to take a two-games-to-one lead in the NBA Finals.
James fell two assists shy of his second consecutive triple-double, finishing with 40 points on 14 of 34 shooting and collecting 12 rebounds. James was 6-for-6 from the line in the final 51 seconds to help the Cavs close out the victory in regulation, two days after they blew an 11-point lead in the last 3:14 of the fourth quarter.
James and Dellvedova combined to take 51 shots, while the rest of the Cavaliers took 25. Dellavedova played tenacious defense and finished with 20 points, five boards and four assists in his second game since replacing the injured Kyrie Irving in the starting lineup. He converted a huge three-point play with about 2 ½ minutes left before James drained a 3-pointer to put the Cavs ahead 87-80.
The Warriors trailed by 17 heading into the fourth quarter and eventually cut the margin to one on Stephen (STEH’-fehn) Curry’s 3-pointer with 2:45 to play. Curry finally found his shooting touch in the second half after shooting 6-for-29 over the previous six quarters.
The reigning MVP finished 10-for-20 from the floor and was 7-for-13 from 3-point range to finish with 27 points. He was 6-for-9 from beyond the arc in the second half, but it wasn’t enough for Golden State to avoid its second straight loss.
Klay Thompson shot just 6-for-16 in scoring 14 points. Andre Iguodala (ihg-ah-DAH’-lah) had 15 points off the bench for the Warriors, who stay in Cleveland for Game 4 on Thursday.