HALFTIME RECAP WITH HIGHLIGHTS: NBA Finals Game 4 - Irving Torches Warriors For 28 Points, Cleveland Cavaliers Lead 86-68

HALFTIME RECAP WITH HIGHLIGHTS: NBA Finals Game 4 - Irving Torches Warriors For 28 Points, Cleveland Cavaliers Lead 86-68


HALFTIME RECAP WITH HIGHLIGHTS: NBA Finals Game 4 - Irving Torches Warriors For 28 Points, Cleveland Cavaliers Lead 86-68

QUICKEN LOANS ARENA, CLEVELAND, OH — Two nights after taking commanding three-game lead in the 2017 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors (3-0) visited the Cleveland Cavaliers (0-3) again for Game 4.

Both teams were at full strength.

Q1: Backdoors, Turnovers And Not Boxing Out

The Cavs came out more focused and hit two threes right away, one from J.R. Smith and the other from Kyrie Irving, with a missed fade-away by Klay Thompson in between.

Draymond Green answered with a triple, but the Cavs out-boarded the Warriors on their offensive end and Tristan Thompson grabbed a miss by LeBron James and re-fed him down the lane past Kevin Durant for an and-one against Zaza Pachulia.

Kevin Love got hot, getting a black door dunk assisted by James, hitting a left corner trey, drawing a shooting foul on what appeared to be a blocking foul by Thompson on the catch, and hitting another three after a Klay triple and a Draymond turnover.

When Love finally missed, Tristan Thompson was there again for more damage, tipping the ball in and giving Cleveland a 26-11 lead approaching seven minutes remaining.

After a Durant missed three, LeBron attacked again and drew a Green foul, Andre Iguodala came in and promptly hit a jumper, but after some empty possessions where Draymond forced a runner against James in transition, but got a block as LeBron tried to drive on Iguodala, Irving got another backdoor bucket on the inbound past Klay.

With 5:39 to play, the Cavs held a 29-13 lead.

The Warriors finally broke out of their trance out of the timeout with a Green bucket on a designed play, followed by a Durant triple on a pull-up after a pick-and-roll with Draymond:

Later, a Durant baseline jumper pulled Golden State to within 31-22, then after a Smith left corner trey fell short, KD pulled up for three more over Richard Jefferson.

Kyrie stopped the mini-run with a nice pull-up triple over Shaun Livingston, but Iguodala got LeBron to bite on an upfake and went down the right baseline two-hand smash that kept the Warriors within striking distance, 34-27, with 2:47 to go:

But Iguodala committed a grabbing foul at the other end as Jefferson tried to set a screen and Golden State was already in the penalty.

Stephen Curry couldn’t get anything going, missing a three, getting called for pass interference as his arm got entangled with Iman Shumpert’s on a chest-pass by Love from the backcourt.

The referees reviewed the play but did not charge Curry with a clear-path foul.

Green and Durant then added two more turnovers for a total of five in the quarter, and Jefferson got a run-out dunk on KD’s, giving the Cavs a 46-29 lead with 56.4 seconds left.

Livingston got a post-up turnaround over Deron Williams, but James cut backdoor once again and once again the Warriors got caught, and Steph hit two free throws on an upfake in the paint against Williams to salvage the quarter at a dismal 49-33 deficit.

The Warriors were outrebounded 19-10 and the Cavs committed just one turnover while shooting 7-for-12 from beyond the arc.

Q2: Kyrie On Fire

After two more buckets by Kyrie, the second a triple, Ian Clark got a runner on the right baseline to drop, despite shooting an airball from the right arc on his first try, and with a couple of Cavs turnovers, one of which actually didn’t get called…

…Klay finally hit a three, then Durant attacked Kyle Korver for an an-one down the right side, keeping the Warriors on the radar with a 54-42 deficit:

But James came back in and immediately hit a there from the top, plus a Smith triple, although David West got an and-one.

West turned the ball over with a charge after Smith’s three, then Dahntay Jones and KD were jawing with each other and Jones was slapped with a technical. Curry made the free throw to keep the score at a manageable 60-46, but instead, the Cavs went on a run.

LeBron went down the right side past Draymond, answered by a Steph triple on the catch in the left corner and upfake of James, but Irving hit a jumper, then pivoted on the catch up top for three more.

Curry’s drive got stripped, and a James runner forced Warriors head coach Steve Kerr to call timeout with 5:38 remaining and Cleveland pulling away, 69-49.

Livingston got a two-hand jam out of the timeout from Green, Livingston followed that up with a baseline jumper against Jefferson, and Draymond put back a missed runner by Steph, but Kyrie stayed hot, getting another drive to go plus a runner.

After Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue took a timeout, Livingston got yet another two-hand dunk fed by Curry, but Draymond’s pass inside went behind Livingston and LeBron went on the run on an outlet by Love, resulting in a foul by Klay and an and-one for James.

KD came back with a Euro-step layup past Love and LeBron, but Jefferson once again beat the Warriors backdoor, leading to more free throws from James.

Iguodala drew a foul on Shumpert, but missed both free throws, and Irving drove again with Iguodala committing his third personal on another made layup, giving Kyrie 28 points on the half on 11-for-14 from the field and 4-for-6 from downtown.

Steph got a bucket finally, and an Irving turnover to a Curry steal ended with a Durant-to-Livingston dunk, only to get answered by Love deep in the corner for three more late in the shot clock.

KD, however, answered back with a swish from deep up top at the buzzer, and Cleveland went into halftime with an 86-68 lead:

James and Durant had 22 points each, while the Splash Brothers combined for just 6 points apiece, a combined 3-for-11.

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