The Cleveland Cavaliers had no intentions of being swept in the Finals. The Cavs came ready to play game 4 but it seemed like the Warriors weren’t aware they were no longer in practice. LeBron James (CLE) had 31 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. Kyrie Irving (CLE) had 40 points, 4 assists, and 11 rebounds. Kevin Love (CLE) had 23 points, 1 assists, and 5 rebounds. Steph Curry (GS) had 14 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds. Kevin Durant (GS) had 35 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds. Draymond Green (GS) had 13 points, 3 assists, and 14 rebounds.
Steph Curry was not a factor in game 4. Steph only had 14 points and made only 2 of his 9 3-pointers. He wasn’t alone, Kevin Durant also only made 2 of his 9 3-pointers. Unlike Steph, Durant was still able to score high numbers. Where Klay Thompson had been a difference maker in game 3, he seemed to disappear in game 4 making just 4 of his 10 3-pointers.
Unlike the Warriors letting their opportunity to make history slip through their fingers, the Cavs were having a historical night. The Cavs scored 49 points in the first quarter of the game, which is the most points scored in any quarter in an NBA Finals game. The Cavs didn’t stop there, they would go on to outscore the Warriors in every quarter of the game. The Cavs also broke the NBA Finals record of most 3-pointers made in a game, which was set by Golden State. The Cavs made 24 3-pointers to the Warriors’ 11.
Although LeBron James put in a lot of work in his 41 minutes on the court, it was Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love who became the difference makers. The 31 points by LeBron is expected by the NBA Superstar, but the 40 points and 7 3-pointers by Kyrie as well as the clutch 6 3-pointers by Kevin Love were not expected. If the series would’ve ended today with the Cavs winning the Finals, Steph would’ve been ridiculed again for another year for being drastically outplayed by Kyrie. LeBron played the way LeBron plays, but it looked like Kyrie had no intentions of being swept. Kyrie showed the world why he’s on the cover of NBA 2K18.
Game 4 wasn’t without its controversies. Although the Warriors were given 36 free throw opportunities, of which they made 27, while the Cavs were given 31 free throw opportunities, of which they made 21, many have speculated that the referees were calling a lopsided game in favor of the Cavs. In baseball, they say tie goes to the runner. In game 4, it seemed that if the refs didn’t know who to call a foul on, it would be in favor of the home team.
However, game 4 was generally filled with bad calls in both directions. There are those who suggest that Draymond Green should have been ejected from the game after getting a second technical before the referees decided that the first technical was on Steve Kerr. The problem with this is that the second technical shouldn’t have been a technical but the technical shot had already been made.
Fans began chanting “Draymond sucks!” and yelling “Russell Westbrook” when Durant was shooting free throws. In essence, it was a very heated NBA Finals game. The game became even more controversial with Draymond Green’s mother tweeting during the game that the refs had been paid to call the game a certain way, which of course is a conspiracy.
Nevertheless, the series has now found its way to the same situation as last year, the Warriors are up 3-1 and only need one more game to beat the Cavs. Just like last year, the Cavs will have to play every game like its game 7, because to them, every game from now on is elimination. If the series continues with the Cavs playing like they did in game 4 and the warriors not making 3-pointers, the Cavs may be able to pull out another comeback like they did last year. However, unlike last year, Kevin Durant is now a factor. Game 5 is on Monday and with these two teams being the best in the NBA, anything can happen.
-Photo by Jose Carlos Fajardo