The Big 3. It’s a formula basketball insiders seemed to agree was the number. Of recent Big 3 vintage has been the Boston Celtics putting Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce together to take home a title. LeBron James went to Miami and grabbed two rings as part of a Big 3 with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Once James declared his return to Cleveland, where rising star Kyrie Irving was already practicing his art, the Cavs sought that third piece — going so far as to trade the #1 pick in the NBA draft to make a here-and-now Big 3 by adding Kevin Love.
Game 5 proved that the Cavaliers are a resilient operation, capable of winning with their backs to the wall — and in the other team’s raucous gym. The Cavs beat the defending champion Golden State Warriors 112-97 to extend the series to a Game 6 in Cleveland. But the Big 3 had nothing to do with it. Kyrie Irving and LeBron James scored 41 each, together accounting for 73% of Cleveland’s scoring. Kevin Love scored one basket in 32 minutes of play.