Cavs Prep for Game 7 Sunday
Photo: Phoebe Petrovic

The Cleveland Cavaliers have become the first team in fifty years to come back from a 3 to one deficit and force a game seven in the NBA Finals.   The Cav's defeated the Golden State Warriors last night at Quicken Loans Arena 115 to 101. 

It happened one year to the day that the Warriors were celebrating a championship with champagne in the visitors’ locker room of the Q after beating the Cavs in Game 6.

But last night Cleveland fans outside the arena were ecstatic at the realization that their team, which looked so over-matched after four games, could claw its way back to tie the best of seven series at 3 to 3. 

One was thrity four year old John Seas of Columbus, “The energy from start to finish was nonstop, I mean from pregame warm-ups all the way to the end. The crowd was so into it, I’ve never been in a building this loud.”

Players Kevin Love, LeBron James, and others were all talking about the fan support afterward. 

The Cavs jumped out to a big lead, ahead 31 to 11 after the first quarter. But the Warriors became the best team in basketball this season by storming back with 3 point shots.  Cavalier’s Coach Tyronn Lue said the crowd gave them the energy; “Just being around the city and just walking around, just the love we get around here.  Then the fans tonight were just unbelievable.  When they came back and cut that lead to eight the fans stayed engaged.  They never wavered.  And we want to give Cleveland a championship; we want to give the state of Ohio a championship; we want to give the Cleveland organization a championship.  So that’s what were all about, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

League MVP Steph Curry had a good game for Golden State but he fouled out of the game with four and a half minutes to go.   He couldn’t match the force of nature that is LeBron James and for the second game in a row he scored 41 points.   At one point in the second half James scored 18 points in a row for the Cavs. 

Following the victory Kyrie Irving just shook his head, “We kinda knew what he was up to, what he was trying to do for us offensively.   That 4th quarter was just unbelievable. When he’s playing in between, like that midrange and outside, and driving to the rim, and also creating opportunities for all of us .It makes the game a lot easier.”

Soften-spoken Canadian Tristan Thompson also had a monster game with points and rebounds in double figures before half time...but said he was just doing his job.  

LeBron James plays it nonchalantly too.   The kids from Akron knows what a championship would mean to Northeast Ohio but he claims he doesn’t get caught up in the emotion of it all, “Nope.  I just play.  I know what I put into the game I know how true I am to the game, how true to these fans.  So, no I don’t let it get to me.”

Steph Curry said the Warriors aren’t going to let this loss get to them.  Golden State came back from a 3 to 1 deficit to won the Western Conference Finals and Sunday’s game will be in Oakland.

But Cavs fans are a lot less worried than were a week ago, as John Seas noted coming out of a packed Quicken Loans Arena; “They’re rattled, they’re getting frustrated, Steph Curry is throwing a temper tantrum on the court right now, he’s getting ejected. We’re in their heads, the Cavs are in their heads, and I think we have a real chance to go out to Oakland on Sunday night and bring home a championship to Cleveland.”

Twenty year old Ohio State University student Manu Suresh put it like this, “I feel pumped right now, just like the rest of Cleveland. All that matters is game 7. Chances that we win? One hundred percent. It takes heart, it takes the city of Cleveland to believe. We’ve got both of those things.”

Game 7 is Father’s Day at 8pm.

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