The Warriors went 16-1 this postseason, beating the 2000-01 Lakers’ 15-1. When it was over, James went straight to congratulate Durant, who got revenge for losing the title with Oklahoma City to James’ Miami Heat five years ago.
The Warriors won in 2015 before the Cavs made their historic comeback past year. Thompson shot 4-of-13 from the field for 11 points and added five rebounds.
Their superior depth proved vital, with Warriors bench players contributing 35 points – including 20 from Andre Iguodala – to just seven for the Cavs’ back-ups. Not only that, but Cleveland also broke quite a few records in Game 4 including most points in a quarter in Finals history, and most points in a half in Finals history.
While the spotlight ended up on Kyrie Irving and his 40 points, J.R. Smith should get some credit because he has proven to be a crucial X-factor for this team. Before Cleveland’s 137-116 home victory in Friday night’s Game 4, Golden State was a flawless 15-0 and had a chance to become the first National Basketball Association team to go unbeaten in the playoffs.
“Believeland is not going to give up and we’re going to keep fighting”, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.
“I think it’s great for the league what’s going on right now, for sure”, the Warriors star told reporters Sunday. “But as long as collectively as a group that everyone feels good, then my opportunities will come on breakdowns from their defense and offensively and things that we can be sharper at”. We shared the ball, we moved the ball and defensively we were physical. “So we have to be even more locked in, even more focused, but if we come with the same mentality that we came with, we’ll be in a better position in Oakland“. But you kind of know the pulse of the game, a team being up 3-1.
The average resale price on the team site for Game 5 is $1,731, which is nearly 20 percent higher than last year’s Game 5 between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers ($1,444).
But that’s where the Warriors’ high-powered offense finally clicked into gear.
Cleveland got off to a fast start and built a 41-33 lead on a dunk by James early in the second quarter. Durant said the key to cool them off is hitting the offensive boards and challenging every three.
However, the Cavs did not role over, they had great shotmaking to come out in the third, attacked the mismatches they wanted and were more disciplined, cutting the lead to four at one point.
Now Cleveland is trying to become the first playoff team to overcome a 3-0 deficit, but that requires a road win Monday.
On Monday night, Durant flipped the script in the first Finals matchup between the two since 2012. Just try to make it tough on him.