Australian Matthew Dellavedova scored 20 points to inspire his Cleveland Cavaliers to defeat the Golden State Warriors 96-91 to take game three of the NBA finals.
The chant of “Delly, Delly, Delly” echoed throughout the stadium as the tenacious Dellavedova put on a career best performance.
After the game the Boomers’ guard received yet more praise from superstar team mate Lebron James, “[He’s] Made of steel. He is huge for our team, he gives us that grit that we need.”
The 24-year-old was also impressive in defence, his physical and pestering style of play was too much for Steph Curry, the league’s Most Valuable Player, keeping him to only one three-pointer from six attempts in the first quarter.
Dellavedova dove on every loose ball on the court, commentator Marc Jackson called it a “championship effort”.
James again dominated proceedings backing down the smaller Golden State team, scoring time and time again to post a massive 40 points and 11 rebounds.
The Warriors went into the fourth quarter down by 15 points, fought hard to get the game back to within just one point off the back of Curry who found his range from beyond the three-point line. However the man of the moment, Dellavedova stepped up for his team.
Dellavedova drove to the hoop with two-in-a-half minutes remaining, drew a foul and landed a miraculous shot prompting more praise from the stunned commentary team.
“We are seeing the emergence of one of the most unlikely finals heroes in recent memory,” Jackson said.
The Warriors battled away to the last minute but the composed Cavaliers did enough to win the crucial game three win in front of a vocal crowd.
Attention now turns to game four where the Warriors will be hoping to level the series. – Jackson Thomas
Top photo from Erik Drost’s Flickrstream