In this series thus far, as alluded to earlier, Golden State had 2 comfortable victories at home. In both games, their 3rd quarters were phenomenal and they extended their lead significantly after halftime. For stretches of play, including multiple full quarters, the Cavs played them basically to a draw. At halftime of each game, Cleveland was within striking distance, trailing by 3 and 8 points. The 3rd quarter basically decided the game in both games. The Cavs squandered a golden opportunity in Game 3, failing to score in the final 3 minutes, and allowing GS to score the final 11 points. That win put the Warriors one win away from a championship. Kyrie and LeBron were spectacular in Game 3, but it was not enough for the Cavs to win the game. King James is averaging a triple double thus far, but in the first 3 games, he had a total of 11 points in the 4th quarters. That is unacceptable for him and if Cleveland is going to complete another incredible comeback this series, they will absolutely need more from him in the closing quarter.
There were a lot of things that happened in Game 4 that probably won’t ever happen again, as it was a very odd game. Zaza Pachulia kicked and punched Iman Shumpert in the groin, within a span of 10 seconds. Draymond Green was kicked out of the game, until the officials realized a mistake, and he remained in the game. The Cavaliers set an NBA Finals record for most points in a quarter (49), most points in a half (86) and most 3 pointers made (24). They actually have the NBA game record for most 3’s in a game with 25 in last year’s playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks. 49 points in a quarter will most likely never be duplicated again. It was a very weird game, but Cleveland got the win it desperately needed, to extend the series. Kyrie had 40 points and LeBron had another triple double. It was a historic night for James, as he set the NBA Finals record for most triple doubles (9 games) and passed Michael Jordan for most total points in NBA Finals games.
On Golden State’s side, there’s quite a bit on the line. In his career thus far, Kevin Durant has been criticized for his failures on the biggest stage and in the most important games. He has been exceptional in this series and is currently the front runner for NBA Finals MVP. Another big game from him and a win by the Warriors and he removes himself from his current title of best player in the league to never win a title. Draymond Green certainly has motivation because of his suspension last year and he has a chance to redeem himself with a big game in the series clinching game. Curry has a chance to be one of the best point guards ever, and championships won certainly factor into that conversation. He’s still got plenty of work to do in order to get himself in that conversation, but just on pure talent and his numbers, he could certainly get there.