WATCH: LeBron James and Kyrie Irving Each Drop 41 Points on the Warriors in Game 5

by June 14, 2016

The superstar duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving combined 82 points Monday night in a must-win Game 5 for the Cleveland Cavaliers, forcing a Game 6 back in Ohio against the Golden State Warriors.

The Cavs took advantage of Draymond Green’s absence for a 112-97 victory.

Klay Thompson scored 37 points (26 coming prior to halftime) and Stephen Curry had 25 for the Dubs, who now hold a 3-2 series lead with another chance to clinch the title Thursday night.

James let his play do the talking in a forceful response to verbal and digital assaults from seemingly every corner of the hoops world.

Per the Akron Beacon Journal:

“When you’re done with the game of basketball and big moments like tonight and moments throughout your career you wish you could get back, no matter how loud you turn the stereo system up in your house, you’ll never be able to get it back,” James said. “You just don’t take these moments for granted, no matter if you’re at home or on the road.”

 

With the very real prospect of dropping to 2-5 in the Finals, James turned back a Warriors team anticipating a celebration. No two teammates ever scored at least 40 points in a Finals game before James and Irving each scored 41 on Monday. […] James’ incredible final line – 41 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and three blocks – conjured memories of his Game 6 Eastern Conference finals performance against the Boston Celtics in 2012 when Irving had just completed his rookie year in Cleveland.

 

Imagining a night like this back then was inconceivable, when James had 45 points and 15 rebounds and the Miami Heat staved off elimination at the Garden. They returned to Miami to win Game 7 and James ultimately won his first championship a few weeks later. There was one glaring difference this time, however. […] “This is different because Kyrie had a special game, also,” said Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, who was a Celtics assistant the night James saved the Heat’s season. “In Boston it was just LeBron. He single-handedly dominated the game on both ends.”