Dubs Blitzed in Game 4, Suffer First Postseason Defeat
Warriors Lead Series 3-1 with Game 5 on Monday at Oracle Arena
What had been a perfect postseason run suffered its first blemish as the Dubs suffered a 137-116 defeat in Cleveland on Friday in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. The defeat decreases the Dubs’ advantage series to 3-1, with Game 5 set for Monday night at Oracle Arena.
The Dubs dug themselves a hole early in this one, and Cleveland’s perimeter shooting, along with 22 free throw attempts, had everything to do with it. When all was said and done, the Dubs were down by 16 at the end of the first quarter, as the Cavs put up an NBA record 49 points in the opening quarter.
Cleveland’s three-point barrage would continue in the second quarter, and their 13 first half treys marked another NBA record, as was their 86 points. Every time the Warriors tried to make a run, Cleveland seemingly answered with a 3-pointer, which masked the fact that the Dubs were still able to put up 68 points in the first half.
That the Dubs were even within 18 points was thanks in large part to Kevin Durant. He shot 6-for-9 from the field and had 22 of his 35 points over the first two quarters, which he punctuated with a slashing dunk and a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Additionally, Durant took full advantage of his free throw opportunities, going 15-for-16 from the charity stripe for the game.
A back-and-forth third quarter saw the Dubs trailing by 19 entering the fourth quarter, and the Dubs looked to get back into it with an 8-0 spurt to open the period that was sparked by 3-pointers by Patrick McCaw and Klay Thompson. But again, a Cleveland 3-pointer stalled the Dubs’ momentum, this one an off-balance shot by Kyrie Irving.
That shot was part of an epic night for Irving, who was 7-for-12 from distance and finished with 40 points. LeBron James was also huge for Cleveland, tallying his second triple-double of the series (31 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds), while Kevin Love knocked down six treys for 23 points. All total, the Cavs drained an NBA Finals record 24 3-pointers to go along with other Finals records for points in a quarter (49) and a half (86).
The Warriors’ offense wasn’t bad in the defeat, it just couldn’t match the Cavs’ hot shooting on this night. The Dubs were 45 percent from the floor and 28 percent on 3-pointers, while Cleveland was 53 percent and slightly better than that from the perimeter.
Stephen Curry (14 points, 10 assists) and Draymond Green (16 points, 14 rebounds) each tallied double-doubles, but in the end the Dubs just could not come back from Cleveland’s hot start.
Now up 3-1 in the series, the Warriors will have a chance to close out the series and hoist the Championship trophy on their home court with Game 5 coming up on Monday at Oracle Arena. For ticket information, visit warriors.com/finals.