As fans filed out of the quieting arena, James grabbed the ball and spiked it with all his might. He flexed his arms and pounded his chest, letting out a roar that echoed from California to Cleveland.
James turned in a triple-double to remember, Matthew Dellavedova made the go-ahead free throws in overtime, and the Cavaliers overcame a fourth-quarter collapse to outlast the Golden State Warriors 95-93 on Sunday night to even the NBA Finals at a game apiece.
James finished with 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists in 50 minutes, carrying Cleveland’s depleted roster to victory on the NBA’s toughest home floor. The Warriors had been 47-3 at ear-piercing Oracle Arena.
“I tried to give it all to my teammates. And they do a great job of giving it back to me. Total team effort,” said James, who shot 11 of 34 from the floor and seemed to wear down as the game dragged on. “To be back in the same position we were in three days ago and to come back and even the series is big time.”
It was the second straight overtime game, and one the Cavs never should’ve let happen.
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