OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - 7:30 p.m.
A dominant, and tense, second quarter has the Golden State Warriors smelling a title.
A 27-4 run turned an eight-point deficit into a 17-point lead and the Warriors go into halftime of Game 5 in the NBA Finals with a 71-60 lead over the Cavaliers.
Golden State outscored Cleveland 38-23 in the period on Monday night. Kevin Durant has 21 points and Steph Curry has 20 for the Warriors, who are two quarters away from their second championship in three years.
LeBron James has 21 points and J.R. Smith kept the Cavs in it with two big 3-pointers in the final minute, including a 28-foot heave just before the halftime buzzer.
Tempers flared when Kyrie Irving tied up David West on a loose ball. West shoved Irving to pick up a technical foul, then went chest-to-chest with Tristan Thompson. After an extended review of the confrontation, officials Danny Crawford and Ed Malloy assessed technical fouls to Thompson and Smith as well and did not give West a second technical, which would have resulted in an ejection.
Kevin Love is scoreless for the Cavs, who have turned it over 11 times.
The best shooting team in the league couldn't buy a bucket early in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Now Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and the Warriors have found the range.
Golden State shot 34 percent in the first 17 minutes, but Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala ignited a surge to push the Warriors in front, 54-43, with four minutes to play in the first half.
Durant hit two deep 3s and Andre Iguodala threw down a soaring, one-handed dunk that sparked an increasingly nervous Oracle Arena crowd. Steph Curry followed with a deep 3 of his own to get the Warriors rolling on a 21-2 run.
LeBron James threw down a massive dunk himself over Durant, who avoided a third personal foul despite hitting James in the head on the play.
James has 16 points, Kyrie Irving has 12 and Tristan Thompson has eight for the Cavs.
Tight whistle in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Tight scoreboard, too.
J.R. Smith knocked down a 3-pointer just before the first quarter ended to give the Cavaliers a 37-33 lead Monday night in a period filled with free throws. With an officiating crew that is trying to keep a handle on the physical play, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both have two fouls for the Warriors while Kevin Love and Kyle Korver have picked up a pair for the Cavs.
After scoring just 14 points in Game 4, Warriors star Steph Curry is off to a quick start with 12 points, six of which came at the free throw line.
LeBron James has 12 points and so does Kyrie Irving for the Cavs.
Golden State shot 14 free throws in the first quarter to Cleveland's seven. The two teams also combined for 12 turnovers.
Game 5 of the NBA Finals is off to a much more deliberate start than Game 4's track meet. After scoring 49 points in the first quarter of Game 4, the Cavs are out to a 22-18 lead midway through the first quarter Monday night.
The Cavs were shaky early, but got back into it with their defense.
Kyrie Irving scored off of a steal and then LeBron James picked off the inbound pass and converted another layup for a 13-9 lead. The 9-0 burst was completed after Kevin Love picked up his second foul in a game the officials are calling a little tighter after the physical play in Game 4.
A tight whistle would seemingly favor the Warriors, who rely more on ball movement and cutting. But Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant have each picked up two fouls.
The Cavaliers like to play a more rugged game using the size and strength of James, Love and Tristan Thompson to their advantage.
James has hit 5 of 6 shots in a torrid start for Cleveland.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been saying they're a better team when their backs are against the wall. Everyone is about to find out how good.
Game 5 of the NBA Finals is underway, with the Warriors holding a 3-1 lead and hoping to close the series out Monday night at home.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers have already staved off elimination once with a victory in Cleveland in Game 4. Last year they became the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the championship.
But the Warriors are brimming with confidence, knowing they didn't have Kevin Durant to help them last year. Durant wants his first championship. James is trying to keep his quest for a fourth alive.__
Golden State coach Steve Kerr wants the Warriors to be more anxious, ready and eager in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
They better be after their Game 4 flop in Cleveland. Golden State lost in record-setting fashion 137-116 on Friday.
"We have to be more on edge. I hope we're a little more nervous. We didn't seem that nervous in Game 4," Kerr said on Monday. "Nervous is good. Appropriate fear is the Gregg Popovich line. You need that. And when we come out the beginning of Game 4 and lose shooters and turn the ball over carelessly, we're obviously not ready.
"So I would hope we're more ready, more prepared tonight."
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue was asked about his team's needs when told of Kerr's comments.
"Appropriate fear," a stone-faced Lue said.
As players from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors warmed up for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, members of the musical Hamilton offered a preview of their national anthem set for a few hours later.
They practiced it several times as heads turned in Oracle Arena to watch and listen.
One of the fans watching the players go through their pregame routines was Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Warriors lead the Cavaliers 3-1 and will try to win their second title in three years Monday.
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