The Warriors were looking to finish off a four-game sweep of LeBron James and the Cavs while also becoming the first National Basketball Association team in history to go unbeaten in the postseason. Not again, the Warriors felt. But in the end you just want to win. "We've still got a lot of work left to do". He could only watch as Kevin Durant of the Warriors sank a 3-pointer over the top of him, one final jolt from which the Cavaliers could not recover.
The Cavaliers have not lost a playoff game when both of them scored more than 30 points, but such numbers were rendered moot against a formidable opponent. This is still a 3-1 series, a historically overwhelming margin - especially with the leading team hosting Game 5.
"They got us where they want us", saidLeBron James, who forged his Finals record ninth career triple-double with 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
What's happened is the Warriors look like a team that could rule the league for many years. "I mean, if you have the opportunity to do that", he said. It's going to be one of those "go back to the drawing board" offseasons, because the Cavs can't win a title against the Warriors the way they're now constructed. We weren't coming to blows, we were just talking.
"Believeland is not going to give up", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. So that allowed them to go do that.
The Warriors simply were overrun from the outset.
He was the main reason why the Cavaliers kept it close in the first half, despite defensive breakdowns that yielded transition opportunities and opened 3-point looks for the Warriors' sharpshooters Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. Instead, they're on the verge of being swept in the NBA Finals by a collection of talent the likes of which this league has rarely, if ever, seen. Oh, and a Finals half record of 86.
It was a stunning display of offensive pyrotechnics that dovetailed with the Cavaliers' late-game collapse, a disheartening result that nearly felt unfair, unjust and undeserved. Not going to overreact to one. "That's fine, though. That's the type of attitude we have to have as a team". "When have you a powerhouse like them, you have a legitimate three big-time scorers that are able to affect the game like the way they did tonight, it will be a tough matchup". While the Warriors are arguably the greatest team ever assembled, it's usually not wise to assume longevity given how much things can change year to year. Kevin Love added 23 points. Draymond Green had 16 points and 14 rebounds.
James went on to mention his favorite baseball and football teams - the identities of which still rankle some Clevelanders, despite his more recent show of support for the local outfits. "I mean, who am I to say if it's fair or not?"
"When they have their three main guys eclipsing nearly the 30-point mark, it's going to be a tough game", said Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving, who finished with 38 points.
In addition, the NBA Finals on ABC continue to produce record streaming numbers, including several for Game 3. And even then, they fell short. They entered shooting 29.8 for the series.
In Game 3 on Wednesday, Green aroused some concern when he began complaining about a foul call to a referee and Curry did the same. "As soon as the ref turns his back, he's got something to say".