KYRIE IRVING, ClevelandCavaliers guard, said the champions were fuelled by talk of the Warriors winning the title on the reigning champions' home court.
UPDATE: The @cavs set a new #NBAFinals record with 24 3s in one game. Golden State shot poorly, especially from three, and Steph Curry couldn't do a thing, yet the game didn't feel out of reach for the Warriors until the final minutes of the game. "Their crowd will be really into it, but guess what?" Finally, the 68 first-half points by the Warriors established the combined 154 points as the most in National Basketball Association postseason history, breaking the old mark of 150 set by Denver and San Antonio on April 26, 1983. Over the past three years since James returned from Miami, the Cavs have handled injuries, constant scrutiny, drama - much of it self-inflicted- and even a midseason coaching change. Kevin Love added 23 points.
"They were aggressive, you have to give them some credit", said Green, who nonetheless still complained that so many Warriors were in early foul trouble that they couldn't be as aggressive as they wanted.
Last year, Durant was licking his Thunder wounds after being eliminated by the Warriors. The role players, invisible early in the series, finally came to life and were difference-makers in the game.
A year ago the Cavs stunned everyone by becoming the first team ever to erase a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to win the final 3 games and end 52-years of sports torment for a city that is identified nationally by the success - or lack of - of its sports franchises.
"All we have to do is come out with great focus and play as hard as we can and we should be in a position to win". "But last year is last year, this year is this year".
Draymond Green should have been ejected in Game 4. But officials ruled it was his first and allowed him to stay in the game. It made a night where records fell, tempers rose and jaws dropped nearly impossible to absorb.
"Just one of those games", Curry said. But Irving's inconsistency keeps him from being mentioned as one the NBA's truly elite stars, and it could be Cleveland's undoing in this series.
This time, again facing a Golden State Warriors team looking to clinch a championship, Irving was every bit as impressive. The play is being reviewed by the league as a matter of policy.
Golden State still leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 as we shift back to the Bay Area for Game 5 on Monday night.
Would the Warriors like to win at home- yes, who wouldn't? The Cavs have history.
James led the way with a record-breaking triple-double - scoring 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. "We have to continue to play how we played at home ... be physical at the point of attack, continue to move [and] share the ball".
But let's go back to the game.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts against the Golden State Warriors during the first half in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. They made some tough shots, but we were not sharp defensively, so always a combination. "You can't hold on to it".
And that is what drives the Warriors. "We have to be even more locked in". "Different team, man", Curry said when asked whether last year's Finals collapse was on his mind.
They couldn't do it in this same situation previous year.
"It's part of the game, I understand that. If I felt better, I was going to do it".
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