NBA Finals: Warriors fall to Cavs in Game 4
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cavaliers stopped Golden State from celebrating and maybe started another comeback.
Just like last year, the NBA Finals are at 3-1 after four games.
LeBron James recorded a triple-double, Kyrie Irving scored 40 points and Cleveland outperformed the NBA's most electrifying offense in a testy Game 4 filled with technical fouls on Friday night, beating the Warriors 137-116 and ending their perfect postseason.
A series that appeared to be headed for a quick conclusion is California bound for Game 5 on Monday night.
The Cavs set scoring records in the first half and then held on during a wild third and fourth quarter that included technical fouls, James jawing with fellow superstar Kevin Durant and Cleveland's crowd roaring like a jet engine.
No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs.
But until the Cavs did it last year, no team had ever rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win the Finals. Cleveland took Game 3 at home, lost Game 4 and then won the final three games -- Game 7 in Oakland -- to capture the city's first sports championship since 1964.
As the final seconds ticked off, Cleveland fans chanted "Cavs in 7."
The Warriors won their first 15 playoff games, the longest postseason streak in North American sport history, but 48 minutes from a party they've been planning for a year has been put on hold.
Durant, still one win from the coveted championship he left Oklahoma City to get, scored 35 but got little help from Stephen Curry, who scored 14 on 4-of-13 shooting.
James finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for his ninth career triple-double in the Finals, breaking the record of eight held by Magic Johnson.
Kevin Love added 23 points for Cleveland, which made 24 3-pointers and finished the first half with a jaw-dropping 86 points.
After trailing for much of the game, the Warriors will have to play a Game 5 of the NBA Finals as Cleveland roared back in Game 4, winning the match 137-116.
At the start of the second quarter, the Cavs held an early lead but the Warriors attempted to bounce back with Klay Thompson hitting a big three before Kevin Durant drew a foul.
No NBA team had overcome a 3-1 deficit in the Finals until LeBron James and the Cavs did it a year ago, storming back and stunning defending champion Golden State. The Warriors failed to crown a regular season in which they set a record with 73 wins.
No team has ever recovered from the 3-0 deficit facing the Cavaliers this year. Teams are 0-126 in the same situation.
Still, veteran guard Richard Jefferson said following Friday's shootaround the Cavs aren't giving up or giving in. He said "most of the guys in our locker room have done something that's never been done in the history of the game of basketball. We understand the task is large, we understand the task has not been done before."
Jefferson said the Cavs are not guaranteeing four victories in a row.
He said they are going to come out as a confident group, play hard and give themselves a chance in Game 4.
"Then go on to the next game," Jefferson said, "and then go on to the next game and see what happens."
Coach Kerr comments:
Steve Kerr hasn't talked to any of the old-timers who say their teams would have beaten his Golden State Warriors.
But he sarcastically responded to them Friday before Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, saying they were right and "they would all kill us."
With the Warriors unbeaten in the postseason and a victory away from a second title in three years, a number of former players have said their teams would have beaten them. Magic Johnson has said that his Lakers would probably have even done it in a sweep.
Kerr mockingly agreed, saying after the Warriors' shootaround that "the game gets worse as time goes on" and "players are less talented than they used to be."
He added: "The guys in the `50s would have destroyed everybody."