Warriors Steal Game 4; One Win from Greatness
So far, the NBA Finals has been about home court advantage.
Advantage might be the nice way of putting it.
The first three games saw the home team put down a collective clobbering by a whopping 78 combined points.
For the math averse, that's a 26-point margin per game on average.
Though the Cavaliers staged an almost perfect performance in their 120-90 Game 3 beatdown, they still had question marks entering Friday’s Game 4, the largest of which was the status of Kevin Love.
Dude missed Game 3 with a concussion and was replaced by Richard Jefferson, who 99% of NBA fans were convinced had retired five years ago. And yet, in the spirit of renaissance, the old Arizona Wildcat played a major role in the Cavs' dominant performance.
With Love expected to return for Game 4, what to do? Go back to starting the highly paid Love or stick with Jefferson?
The Dubs weren't without questions, either.
While reigning MVP Steph Curry hasn't been terrible -- ie- mortal -- dude's assuredly not been himself. Though the Warriors were scoring in bunches in the first two games, Chief Curry has been far from his scoring self along the banks of the legendary Cuyahoga, averaging a non-Currylike 16 points per game.
It's brutal when a river can be hotter than you are.
Fortunately, Cleveland's come a long way since then, except maybe the Browns.
But these are LeBron's Cavaliers, dammit! And after Game 3, they had pundits around the league asking questions such as what's wrong with Steph Curry? Not to mention can the MVP right himself in time to save his team?
Unlike those pesky unanswered questions of the universe, NBA fans would get the solutionsin Game 4.
Prior to tipoff, the Cavs announced that Love would play, coming off the bench for Jefferson.
And unlike the Finals' first three games, this one proved to be a close contest early on.
Cleveland began to pull away a bit in the second quarter, ending the half up five. That was a lead they'd extend to eight in the third.
It seemed as though this game was trending toward anther blowout. That is, until Curry had a Keith Hernandez moment and remembered that he’s Steph-freaking-Curry, the Greatest Shooter of All-Time.
Dude finished with 38 points -- 24 of which came in the second half -- in what would eventually turn out to be a 108-97 Warriors win.
Curry, who'd been held to 48 total points in the first three games, shot a solid 7-of-13 from beyond the arc.
For the Cavaliers, the decision to play Richard Jefferson didn't pan out as well this time around. The OG scored a mere three points to Love’s 11, both of whom did so in 25 minutes of playing time.
The star of the night for Cleveland was Kyrie Irving, who built on his Game 3 performance by dropping a 34-piece on the defending champs. Besides that, though, LeBron was the only other Cav who had a good game, just missing a triple-double with a 25-13-9 line.
This Clevland's first loss at home in the post-season. More importantly, however, is they're now the first team to lose a home game in the Finals. And you know what that means.
Back to basketball, though. With a 3-1 lead and Game 5 in Oracle Arena, the Dubs will look to put the bow on their historic season.
The Cavaliers obviously haven’t given up, but let’s just say that history is not on their side. No team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in NBA Finals history.
Then again, the Cavs may get some help from the league office before Game 5.
Cheap-shotting Steven Adams is one thing, but low-blowing the face of the league is another.
Look for both teams to make history in Game 5, as the Warriors look to finish their record-breaking year, while the Cavs seek to spark the biggest comeback in NBA finals history.