Warriors one win from the NBA title
Cleveland (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 38 points and Klay Thompson had 25 to help Golden State to a 108-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals last night, moving the Warriors within one victory of a second straight championship.
After struggling through the first three games of the series, the Splash Brothers finally arrived. They combined to hit 11 of 22 three-pointers and Golden State set a finals record with 17 from deep as a team while hitting more threes than two-pointers, 16, in the game.
Now they head back to the Bay Area with a 3-1 lead and a chance to close out a historic season in game five on Monday.
Kyrie Irving scored 34 points and LeBron James had 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for the Cavaliers. Cleveland went scoreless for 6:30 in the fourth quarter to lose at home for the first time in the play-offs.
No team has come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals.
Last night was the first time in the series that a game had not threatened to become a blowout, with a close, physical game tight until the Warriors pulled away in the fourth quarter.
The tension certainly got to LeBron James, who had a heated exchange with Draymond Green, the Warriors forward, with less than three minutes to play.
Golden State were up 96-88 at that stage and it was a rare show of emotion from James, who almost never engages an opponent in that way.
Both players were whistled for double fouls, a break for Green.
The Warriors forward has to be careful because he is two technical fouls and one flagrant away from a one-game suspension, although with his side seemingly on the cusp of a second consecutive title that seems to matter less than it did before.
Things looked very different at half-time, with Cleveland leading 55-50 and Irving dominating proceedings.
Irving made six of ten shots while playing with his right thumb wrapped in tape.
Still, the Warriors did not go 73-9 over the regular season without knowing how to bounce back and Steve Kerr, their coach, made some changes to keep his side in contention.
James Michael McAdoo was in the first-quarter rotation, after not playing a single second in any of Golden State's last 12 games. It was his first time appearing in the first quarter of a game since Game FIVE of the Warriors' first-round series against Houston.
“He's fast, he's active and in this series they've gone pretty small so he fits in well,” Kerr said.
There was at least some good news for Cleveland, who had Kevin Love back after his recovery from concussion.
Love started on the bench, but made an impact early, forcing a possession and giving his side an early 22-20 lead. It, like Love, did not last