NBA Expert Picks: Can the Golden State Warriors (29-31) finish off the Cleveland Cavaliers (29-31) at home when they hit the hardwood in Game 5?
by Matt Cash @MattCashCapper
Vegas Odds by Bovada Sportsbook
Cleveland O/U 231
Golden State -9
It was hard to imagine that a team led by LeBron James would end up on the side of history as the ones who lost four straight in the Finals to allow Golden State to become the first to sweep through the entire playoffs.
All it took for them to get a win in game four and change that narrative was one of the greatest performances in Finals history. Cleveland set a record with 86 points in the first half and 24 three-pointers made in their 137-116 victory.
The team hit on 52.9% of their shots and 53.3% of their three-pointers. Kyrie Irving led the way with 41 points and James was right behind with a triple-double of 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
A bit of Finals trivia for you, they were the fifth team out of 13 to win game four of the Finals after trailing 3-0. Three of first four went on to win game five. The last team to do so was Seattle when playing the Bulls in 1996.
That team might be a parallel here given that Golden State is another historically great team. Now they will try to clinch on their home court. It will make for some mighty fine redemption after Cleveland managed to become the first team to come all the way back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals last year to win game seven on the Warriors floor.
Kevin Durant has scored at least 30 points in each game of the series thus far and Golden State has scored at least 113 in each of the games.
In game five the Cavs managed to make Draymond Green a non-factor and for the first time all series Steph Curry went cold. He shot just 4-13 from the field for a total of 14 points. Klay Thompson could also manage just 13 points on 4-11 shooting.
In fact, it was the three-point shooting that sunk the Warriors as they hit on just 28.2% of their opportunities.
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Cleveland’s last 5 games
- Cleveland is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games on the road
Golden State Warriors
- Golden State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
- Golden State is 16-1 SU in its last 17 games
Cash it in: Golden State are -9 favorites. They are painfully aware of what’s at stake as the Finals slipped through their grasp last year. The crowd, already one of the best in the sport should be ready to raise the roof from the get go. Their dominance has been on display for three games where it could be argued that they’ve left a lot of easy baskets on the floor. Cleveland needed to play one of the best games in history to get a win. They certainly have it in them to do it again, but the Warriors ceiling is even higher and I expect them to play with the desperation of a team playing game seven. Warriors 128-114.
NBA Picks: . Place your Bet on the Warriors -9 & the Over 231.