NBA Finals Game 4 Recap: LeBron Unable To Lift Cavs To Victory

In a game differing greatly from the previous two, the Warriors came up victorious, bringing great energy and intensity to a game that the Warriors needed to win in order to fend off an elimination game at home. The Warriors won by a score of 103-82.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr made a bold change before the game even began, in regards to his starting line-up, as he started former Slam Dunk Champion Andre Iguodala in place of incredibly disappointing center Andrew Bogut. This change paid major dividends as Igoudala brought a fast pace to this game, making the Cleveland Cavaliers uncomfortable while shooting 4-7 for nine points after the opening two quarters.

Steve Kerr said in preparation for Game 4 to, “Obviously we made shots, but it was more than making shots. It was the activity level and all the energy. We need to get to that early. We need to get to the loose balls and the long rebounds and play with a lot of energy and heart and let that carry us. There’s no scheme for diving for a loose ball. It’s whether you want the ball or not. If we want the possession. We’ve got to do more of that tonight.”

The Warriors did that to perfection in Game 4.

The Warriors started the game shakily, similar to Games 2 and 3, but this quickly changed as Draymond Green lost his evident early tentativeness and Andre Igoudala converted a few shots to give his team the momentum for the rest of the first half. Green’s 13 points in the first half is a series high for him (Game 1).

Most surprising was the lack of contribution from the Warriors leading scorers, MVP Stephen Curry and sharpshooter Klay Thompson. Curry scored a measly eight points on 3-9 shooting in the first half. Thompson scored an underwhelming seven points on 3-7 shooting only able to convert one of his four three-point attempts.

Cavaliers star LeBron James fell into the camera of a cameraman baseline and was unable to get up for a few minutes while bleeding. Fans feared the worst when witnessing his scary fall. James was able to continue playing with a visible gash on his forehead and surprisingly did not undergo any concussion protocol immediately following the injury.

Cleveland Cavaliers sixth-man J.R. Smith was his own worst enemy as he has been throughout this series. However, tonight we saw him at his absolute worst. In his 16 first-half minutes, he scored two points on 1-5 shooting and was a game-high -16.

The Warriors led the trailing Cleveland Cavaliers by a score of 54-42 at the half.

After a few pivotal miscalls, the Cavaliers inched their way back into this game to get within four near the end of the third quarter. This Cavaliers run brought them close to the lead but were unable to fully convert the comeback, as Stephen Curry picked up his level of play substantially. With the rise in play by the MVP, the Cavaliers shot selection worsened. The Cleveland Cavaliers ended the game with a disappointing shot percentage of 33 percent.

The only bright spot for the Cavaliers in this loss was the play of Russian center Timofey Mozgov, who has played his best basketball throughout this series. After retaining a double-digit deficit, Mozgov kept the Cavaliers within breathing distance of getting back into this game, to no avail. Mozgov received a career high in points with 28, in the Cavaliers’ Game 4 loss, and had the team’s highest +/- for a starter, at -5.

LeBron James did not leave the same lasting impressions he had in the first three games of this series, possibly due to disorientation due to the aforementioned head injury sustained earlier in the game. LeBron only scored 20 points, which is low for him, on 7-22 shooting, and 5-10 from the free throw line.

This game ended depressingly for Cavaliers supporters as they lost by a blow-out score of 103-82. The game ended with understandable mutual boos among fans in disgust.

One major problem for the Cleveland Cavaliers was the rest of Matthew Dellavedova and LeBron James. Dellavedova had to spend a night in the hospital due to dehydration after Game 3. Both were cramping during the third quarter causing Cavaliers coach David Blatt to rest them in the fourth quarter. This situation is not ideal for Cleveland, as they need Dellavedova and James to contribute more than they did in tonight’s fourth quarter.

With this win by the Warriors, both teams have now won a game on the road in this series. The Cavaliers achieved this feat in Game 2 at the Oracle.

A highly anticipated Game 5 will be held in Oakland at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.

[Image Source: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]

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