Cavaliers spoil Warriors' perfect playoff run, send Finals back to Bay down 3-1
So much for the first perfect postseason in NBA history.
So much for sweeping LeBron James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers on their home court.
If the Golden State Warriors are going to win the NBA Finals and reclaim their throne — and make a case for being the greatest team in history — they'll have to keep the Cavs from coming back down 3-1 — again.
The Cavs set Finals records with 86 first-half points and 24 three-pointers Friday night in a 137-116 Game 4 victory, avoiding a sweep and sending the series back to the Bay.
"We have championship DNA," James told reporters. "We showed that tonight. We just kept our composure. We shared the ball, we moved the ball and defensively we were physical. It's one game."
James was asked Wednesday night if the Cavaliers had hit the Warriors with their best shot after a gut-wrenching Game 3 loss, in which the Warriors closed on an 11-0 run. James said he didn’t know.
Clearly the answer was no, they had not.
James had the ninth triple-double of his Finals career, passing Magic Johnson for the most in NBA history and finishing with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. He also jumped Michael Jordan (1,176 points) for No. 3 on the career Finals scoring list. Kyrie Irving scored 28 of his 40 points in the first half.
The Warriors scored 68 first-half points, capped by a buzzer-beating three by Kevin Durant — and still trailed by 18 at halftime.
Durant finished with 35 to lead Golden State.
James said his teammates were upset by comments made by Warriors forward Draymond Green.
"I didn't hear it, but some of the other guys heard it and told me that (the Warriors) wanted to celebrate on our floor once again and they wanted to spray champagne in our locker rooms," James told reporters.
The Cavs halted the Warriors’ 15-0 postseason run and sent the series back to the Bay down 3-1. Last year the Cavs trailed 3-1 before rallying to win the first title in Cleveland’s history.
Game 5 is Monday night.