If the Warriors' "Big Four" come out with a fire and intensity that is unmatched by the Cavaliers or there is a slight edge to the Dubs, then they will be hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy on Monday. The Warriors' energy, focus and intensity has to come soon or else it's finger-nail biting time for Golden State fans.
"Our mindset is to go out there and get one", James said.
No team in National Basketball Association history has come back from 3-0 down. The Warriors hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and are one game away from an National Basketball Association title. It's the first time the same two teams have met in the Finals for three consecutive years. We're going to respond, but they aren't going to punk us.
Here was the Cavs answer to the call for a change of pace: 49 points in the first quarter; 86 at half. The Warriors sniffed a chance after cutting the lead to 11 points in the fourth quarter, but Irving's pyrotechnics resulting in a stellar 40-point output was enough to defeat the Warriors.
"I don't like it", James said, drawing laughter after surpassing Magic Johnson in the record book with his ninth career Finals triple-double. They won a championship, and previous year it was the greatest regular-season team we had played, probably one of the best postseason teams that everybody's ever seen as well, but we were just able to overcome that. "We shared the ball, we moved the ball and defensively we were physical", James said. But for the Warriors and their most dependable player, Kevin Durant, that experience includes blowing 3-1 leads just a year ago. Steph Curry had 14, Klay Thompson had 13, and Draymond Green had 16 points for the Warriors.
No lead feels safe against the Warriors, but the Cavaliers did their best in the first quarter to build a margin they could sustain.
Kevin Durant scored 35 points but the Warriors could never slow down the Cavs and missed their chance for the NBA's first ideal postseason. The Cavaliers shot 24-of-45 from 3-point range, setting a finals record for 3-pointers and ending one shy of matching the league's all-time record.
One more example why it wasn't Curry's night: He missed a free throw. Wellllll, the reality is that Durant, Thompson, and Curry are such incredible shooting talents that they simply don't really get that cold, and the odds of all of them being off are legitimately LONG.
Kyrie Irving's points are louder, and he's the best isolation scorer in the world. He made 10 of his first 12 shots, while Curry made only one of seven.
James set two other records Friday. Irving was up to 28 points and James had already registered 22 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Both LeBron and Kevin Durant, who are normally friendly, got into a seemingly aggressive argument at half-court while the refs were reviewing a play. The referee then pointed out that the first technical given to Green in the first quarter was actually for Warriors coach Steve Kerr and was not communicated properly to the scoring desk. Instead of an ejection for Pachulia, however, he and Shumpert were slapped with technicals. Tristan Thompson finally made a decision to show up in Game 4 and if he continues to do so, the Warriors can't afford to lose Pachulia to a silly foul.