NBA Finals: Warriors beat Cavs in Cleveland, take Game 4

    MANILA, Philippines - The Cleveland Cavaliers never lost a single game at home ever since the 2016 NBA playoffs started. But today, the Golden State Warriors led by MVP Stephen Curry ended the Cav’s home court winning streak and sealed game number 4, 108-97 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

     Warriors beat Cavs in Cleveland, take Game 4
    Photo Credit: Twitter/NBA
    Surprisingly, it was not the one of the splash brothers who made the first basket for the Golden State Warriors. Rather, it was usual 2nd five cast Harrison Barnes who placed his team on the scoreboard for 2 consecutive triples at the right side corner. On the other hand, Kyrie Irving and JR Smith countered with their own version of threes. With two early treys coming from both teams, game 4 was expected to be an avalanche of three pointers.

    Unlike the previous game where the Cavs went ahead by double digits early in the first, game number 4 is somehow a tight and close ball game.

    Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were shooting blanks from anywhere on the floor with more than 6 minutes gone by. But Kyrie Irving kept on dropping long bombs that gave Cavs a 13-10 lead until Coach Steve Kerr called his first timeout.

    After the halt, the boys in blue jerseys finally got their rhythm and took the lead with Klay Thompson hitting his first three and with Draymond Green’s assistance.

    Kevin Love, who was absent last game due to concussion symptoms made his home court debut at the 5-minute mark of the opening quarter. Love was sidelined last Thursday after failing to secure a medical clearance from the NBA physicians.

    Both Stephen Curry and Lebron James made their first goals with over 3 minutes. James got away with a left-handed layup while Curry hit a long three. With both superstars had scored, game was tied at 20 apiece.

    The first quarter ended with a half-shot lead for the Warriors 29-28 after exchanges of several personal fouls and free throws from both squads in the dying seconds.

    Iman Shumpert moved the scoreboard for the first time in the second quarter but Klay Thompson started to heat-up as he drained another three. Lebron James, however, struggled with only 2 points and 3 personal fouls already with 9 more minutes to go before the first half ends. Even on the foul line, James continued to miss his shots while his rival, Stephen Curry, found sweet spot in the rainbow arc.

    JR Smith’s hands were still hot as he tied the ballgame at 39 all and Kyrie Irving sank a technical free throw to snatch the lead which was momentarily taken by the Warriors. Before that, Irving sat out for some minutes to tape his fractured right knuckle. But despite of the injury, Irving has already tallied 14 markers to cover the misfiring Lebron James.

    Cavs were able to ramp-up their lead to 5, 53-48, the biggest in the first 2 quarters with JR Smith and Kyrie Irving’s effort and maintained it until the first half buzzer sounded.

    Summing up the first 24 minutes of game number 4, it was a quality kind of ball game that both teams rendered the fans. Lebron had an early off-night with just 5 points under his name. Worst, Cleveland’s all 4 turnovers came from James. Nevertheless, they were up 55-50.

    Before the players headed to the dugout, Coach Steve Kerr was called for a technical foul for continuous complaining to the referee in protest to JR Smith’s foul on Andre Iguodala’s hail mary attempt. Kyrie Irving shot the technical free throw before the third period started.

    Stephen Curry made his third three pointer for the Warriors while Lebron James finally made a clear shot from the outside to add three more to their lead.

    Back-to-back three from the splash brothers to trim Cavs’ 8-point advantage to just 2 prompted Coach Tyronn Lue to call an urgent timeout to talk things over. The Cavs timeout benefited Warriors more as Klay Thompson continued to hit from the outside.

    Warriors’ pick-and-roll and screens were really giving Curry and Thompson ample spaces they need to nail their shots. Thompson already had 21 while Curry had 20 mid in the 3rd quarter.

    Finally, Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry’s treys grabbed the lead from Cleveland 72-69 that left Coach Lue no other choice but to burn another timeout.

    With Lebron james scoring 30 plus points last game, Golden State intensified its defense on him. Both Iguodala and Green were doing great job on locking down the former MVP and limited him to just 12 points with 2 more minutes remaining in the penultimate quarter.

    The Warriors were out rebounding the Cavaliers in the third that gave them a slight advantage. Most of the offensive boards were credited to former Cavalier, Anderson Varejao. Golden State made a 6-point lead in less than 30 ticks of the clock, all were product of second-point chances. With this, the Dub City held a 79-77 lead over Cleveland after the third.

    Warriors had the first possession in the final period, but Lebron James foiled Stephen Curry to score and push him to turn the ball over and converted it on the other end for the tie. James made 3 consecutive baskets for the temporary lead, but Curry fired back from the down town to reclaim the lead.

    After an intense defensive stops, the Cavs slowed down and gave scoring opportunities to the Warriors. Coach Lue called an early timeout to stop the bleeding.

    Nothing was doing well for Cleveland as their close rivals were so determined to bounce back from the painful 30-point loss last game. Curry got a loose-ball for an easy 2 while Harrison Barnes sank a straight three for their biggest lead, 93-84. Once again, another ceasefire called by Ty Lue.

    The Cavs looked so tired and hopeless with under five minutes of game 4. Every shot was heavily contested by the Warriors and they were being owned in the rebounding department leaving Stephen Curry with 36 big points to save his team from two straight losses.

    At the final horn, Golden State Warriors grabbed the win and virtually placed the Cavs in do-or-die situation for the succeeding games. The Warriors can wrap up the series on Tuesday as they fly back to the Oracle Arena for game number five.

    --Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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