Down 3-0 in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, the Cavaliers put together an inspired performance at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday night to win 137-116 and keep their season alive.
Kevin Durant scored 35 points but the Warriors could never slow down the Cavs and missed their chance for the NBA's first ideal postseason.
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 ideal postseason. No team has come back from 3-0 in the playoffs.
In any event, the Cavs are still breathing, and it's now the Warriors who may be feeling the pressure after blowing a 3-1 lead last June. Cleveland took Game 3 at home, lost Game 4 and then won the final three - Game 7 in Oakland - to capture the city's first sports championship since 1964. James said his mom didn't want him to leave the Miami Heat for the Cavs because of the letter Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert wrote to fans the night James bolted for the Heat in 2010.
The top-seeded Warriors, who had won their first 15 games of the playoffs, will get another chance to close out the series in front of their home fans on Monday.
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James finished with 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to move past Magic Johnson, while Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 40 points. Kevin Love added 23 points and made six three-pointers.
Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 35 points. The Cavs opened the first quarter with 49 points, the most in a quarter in Finals history.
Later in the quarter, confusion arose as Green seemingly received his second technical foul of the game that would have resulted in an automatic ejection.
Irving was on the mark on 10 of 12 shots from the field at one point in the opening period, and he finished the half with 28 points for the second-highest point total by a player in the last 20 NBA Finals. Cleveland made 24 3-pointers. Comedian Kevin Hart and National Football League star Odell Beckham Jr. were among the courtside celebrities. The Warriors previously swept Portland, Utah and San Antonio. Before the game, Kerr, who missed 11 playoff games because of back pain, said his decision to return to the bench for Game 2 in the Finals was easy. The 86 points were the most in a half in NBA Finals history. James jumped Michael Jordan (1,176) on the Finals scoring list, and hopped over His Airness (1,463) for the most made free throws in the postseason. Reserve guard Dahntay Jones was called for a technical in the first half for trash talking with Durant from the bench.
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