by DANTE EVANS
Games 1-3 of this year’s NBA Finals were close games with the 4th quarter or even overtime coming down to the final seconds but that was not the case in Game 4. The Golden State Warriors cruised to a 103-82 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, tying the series at two games apiece. Games 2 and 3 were centered on the supporting cast of LeBron James stepping up and being the difference makers in those two victories. That supporting cast did not show up to play on Thursday night, leaving James with no help on either side of the ball while also leaving the Quicken Loans Arena crowd in shock and disappointment.
LeBron James may be the greatest player in the NBA today, but he cannot win a game on his own, especially after suffering several gashes in his head after falling from a hard foul. James ended with 20 points while shooting 7-22 from the field. These numbers are not “LeBron-like” by any means, but the blame doesn’t fall solely on him. Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and Matthew Dellavedova shot a whopping 7-35 from the field, not providing the same offensive attack as they had in the previous three games of this series.
Player of the Game
Andre Iguodala, starting his first game of the entire season for the Warriors, was the difference maker in the game playing 39 minutes, scoring a season-high 22 points while also grabbing eight rebounds. The Warriors made adjustments that needed to be made, having four out the five starters scoring in double figures. The team shot 12-30 from beyond the arc, and 46.8% overall, the biggest reason why they came out on top in this contest.
The Warriors came out firing and played with a chip on their shoulder from the opening tip-off. After Cavalier-made field goals, there were many times where Golden State pushed the ball up the court within ten seconds and made easy baskets after catching the Cavalier defense off guard. The Cavs seemed to be fatigued throughout the entire game, and could not keep up with the intensity of the Warriors.
Maybe the three day break will be what the Cavs need to gain that intensity back that they possessed through the first three games as they look to win the very crucial Game 5 in Oakland.
Stat of the Game
If Cleveland wants to have a chance in winning Game 5 or any remaining games in this series, then they are going to have to be much better from the 3-point line. Game 4 was a game of many missed long range shots for the Cavs, shooting an awful 4-27 from beyond the arc. Not one player shot above 25% from the 3-point line, and that must change if Cleveland wants to change the misfortune of this title-less city.