Dahntay Jones makes sudden impact for Cavaliers

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBA/Getty Images

CLEVELAND -- Late in the second quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue went to an unlikely member of his bench for a boost: Dahntay Jones.

After the Golden State Warriors cut the Cavs’ early 22-point lead down to 11 with a minute and a half remaining before halftime, Jones responded with a personal 5-0 run -- which included drawing two whistles on Draymond Green to saddle the Warriors’ multidimensional star with three fouls -- and sent Cleveland into the break up by 16.

Here are three things to know about Jones:

1. He was signed on the final day of the regular season: Looking to add a wing defender with playoff experience -- Jones had played 49 postseason games in 10 seasons in the league before joining the Cavs -- Cleveland general manager David Griffin signed Jones on the last day of the regular season to a prorated contract of $8,818. The Cavs were also looking for depth at point guard at the time, considering Mo Williams’ knee issues, but figured Kyrie Irving and Matthew Dellavedova, plus LeBron James, gave them ample depth at the point, allowing them to prioritize D.

2. James was extra generous with him. … Kind of: Late in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, Jones got tangled up with the Toronto Raptors’ Bismack Biyombo and hit him in the groin. The league suspended Jones one game for the act and incurred a fine equal to 1/110th of his salary -- or about $80 bucks. James, who made $22.9 million from the Cavs this season and also signed a lifetime deal with Nike worth in the neighborhood of $1 billion, said he would cover it.

3. Kobe Bryant once had him in his crosshairs: Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Jones and the Denver Nuggets in a hotly contested six-game Western Conference finals series in 2009. Years later, during the 2012-13 season, they matched up when Jones was playing for the Atlanta Hawks and Bryant claimed the swingman undercut him on purpose, causing him to sprain his ankle. Jones defended his honor, saying it wasn’t an intentionally dirty play, but Bryant wasn’t having any of it. "I can't get my mind past the fact that I got to wait a year to get revenge," Bryant said at the time. Bryant is still waiting for that revenge. He injured his Achilles later that season, Jones became a bench player and eventually landed in the D-League this season before the Cavs picked him up and the pair never played each other again.