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The Golden State Warriors are attempting to win their second straight NBA championship on Monday but will have to play Game 5 without suspended forward Draymond Green. The Warriors hold a 3-1 series lead over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals but Green won’t be inside the arena after the NBA issued a flagrant 1 foul on Sunday for a Game 4 incident in which he swung and hit Cleveland forward LeBron James in the groin.
Green is forced to sit out because it is his fourth flagrant foul of the postseason and coach Steve Kerr didn’t publicly say who would start in his place and he also sidestepped a question regarding whether he was disappointed in Green. “That’s just something that stays within the team. It’s not anything I’m going to comment on,” Kerr told reporters at Sunday’s press conference. “I’m disappointed for him that he can’t play in a big game. But the ruling has been made, and we’ve got to move on.” No team has ever recovered from a 3-1 series deficit to win the NBA Finals and the Cavaliers lost the first two games of the series at Oracle Arena by an average of 24 points and know it will take a supreme effort to force a Game 6. “We’ve already got to take a flight back home anyways, so we might as well come home with a win and play on our home floor again,” James told reporters. “Being a confident bunch we feel like the chips have been stacked up against us all year anyway.”
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ABC
LINE HISTORY: The Warriors opened up as 7.5-point favorites at home for Game 5 but the public felt that a desperate Cavaliers club would keep the game close – the line was dropped to -6.5. On Sunday afternoon it was announce that Draymond Green would be suspended for the next contest and the line was dropped another full point to -5.5. The total opened up at 206 and was dropped down to 204.5 on Sunday morning. Check out the complete line history here.
SERIES PRICE (Per Pinnacle):
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (70-30, 47-50-3 ATS, 49-51 O/U): James is averaging 24.8 points, 11 rebounds and 8.3 assists in the series but those numbers are being overshadowed by a truly ugly stat – an average of 5.8 turnovers. “Some of them were attack turnovers,” James said of his second seven-miscue contest of the series in Game 4. “Trying to squeeze the ball into tight places as a quarterback would, and I’m OK with those. But some of those that are careless, I’m not OK with that.” Point guard Kyrie Irving had 34 points in Game 4 for his second consecutive 30-point performance and he is averaging 25 points in the series.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (88-15, 59-42-2 ATS, 53-49-1 O/U): Two-time MVP Stephen Curry broke out of a three-game slumber in a big way with 38 points and seven 3-pointers in the 108-97 victory in Game 4. Curry averaged just 16 points in the first three games and didn’t even have a 20-point outing before regaining his form and setting the tone for the road victory. “He’s Steph Curry. He’s the MVP for a reason,” Kerr told reporters. “He doesn’t have the size and the strength to dominate a game physically, so he has to dominate with his skill, and that’s not an easy thing to do because your shot sometimes isn’t going to go in.”
* Cavaliers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 NBA Championship games.
* Warriors are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games.
* Under is 7-1 in Warriors last 8 vs. Eastern Conference.
* Under is 4-0-1 in the last 5 meetings in Golden State.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 64 percent of the Covers users are picking the Warriors to close out the season and cover the points in Game 5. As for the total, 68 percent of the Covers wagers are on the Over. Click here for full up-to-date consensus data.
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