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Warriors vs Cavaliers Game 4: Can LeBron Help Cleveland Stave Off Elimination?

Steph Curry and Draymond Green on the road against the Wizards
Draymond Green and Steph Curry are closing in on their third NBA title. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) CC License
  • The Warriors are seeking a sweep for their third title in four years
  • Kevin Durant is making a strong case for Finals MVP
  • Are we going to witness LeBron’s last game as a Cavalier?

The Golden State Warriors are in position to join an elite class of NBA teams, as they try to sweep away the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

A victory would place the Warriors into the history books, as just the sixth team in the history of the association to claim three titles in four seasons.

Like last year’s Finals, Game 3 was all about Kevin Durant. While his teammates started out ice cold, Durant blistered the Cavaliers defense all game. In the end, it was again the lanky small forward landing the plane on a rough and tumble finish in Cleveland.

You’re not going to believe this, but for much of the night, the only other player that was in double digit-scoring to support Durant was Javale McGee, until Steph Curry found his way late.

Meanwhile, LeBron James was, well, LeBron James. A 33-point triple-double was nowhere near enough (somehow his previous level of play makes it feel sub par), as he had to balance attack and rest while again logging an unreal 47 minutes of playing time.

Kevin Love did his sidekick thing once again, but it was Rodney Hood, out of the doghouse, that had Cavaliers fans believing they could take Game 3. But here we are, one game away from probably putting a nice bow on this Cavaliers four-year run, with LeBron James’ future in complete limbo.

Warriors vs Cavaliers Team Playoff Stats

OFFENSE

Warriors
VS
Cavaliers

111.7 Offensive Rating 107.2
110.6 Points 101.9
26.1 Assists 19.1
48.1 Field-Goal Percentage 45.6
35.6 Three-Point Percentage 33.3
+9.4 Plus/Minus -0.7

DEFENSE

Warriors
VS
Cavaliers

100.9 Defensive Rating 108.2
101.2 Points 102.6
+2.7 Rebounding Differential +1.0
-0.6 Turnover Differential +0.7
42.7 Field-Goal Percentage 46.8
31.4 Three-Point Percentage 34.5
41.2 Points In The Paint 42.5

2018 NBA Finals Head-to-Head Results

Date Location Score Winner
June 6 – NBA Finals Game 3 CLE 110-102 GS
June 3 – NBA Finals Game 2 GS 122-103 GS
May 31 – NBA Finals Game 1 GS 124-114 OT GS

Notable Injuries and Absences

Warriors Cavaliers
No injuries No injuries

 Game 4 Moneyline Pick: Warriors (117-105)

If someone told you James would post a triple-double, three other teammates would contribute 48 more points, and the team would enjoy a +10 advantage in the rebounding game (including a 15-6 mark on the offensive glass), you would have considered Cleveland’s chances pretty good to come out with a W.

Throw in the fact that Curry and Thompson combined to shoot a ghastly 7-for-27 from the field – with Curry adding a woeful 1-for-10 mark from three-point range – for just 21 points, and this was an outrageous missed opportunity for the Cavs.

This was an outrageous missed opportunity for the Cavs. But such is the juggernaut that is the Warriors. They can absorb a pair of sub-par performances from their all-star backcourt and still manage a win.

But such is the juggernaut that is the Warriors. They can absorb a pair of sub-par performances from their All-Star backcourt and still manage a win. They will not shoot that poorly again, and Durant seems to be at the peak of his efficient powers. In the last two games, KD has shot 25-for-37 from the field (68%!), including 8-for-12 from deep, pouring in 69 points, 22 rebounds and 14 assists. He is a man on fire.

For Cleveland to prolong this series, they’ll need to shoot better than 9-for-31 from three-point range, as 29% is right around their average in losses in these playoffs. Some defense would help too: Cleveland’s Game 3 effort saw not one player in action deliver a positive plus-minus.

It won’t matter. Bring out the brooms. Sorry, Cleveland.

Team Trends

Warriors Cavaliers
Golden State is 34-16 SU on the road Cleveland is 37-14 SU at home
Golden State is 7-3 SU in its last ten games Cleveland is 4-6 SU in its last ten games
Golden State is 32-11 SU as road favorite Cleveland is 2-3 SU as home underdog
Golden State is 28-43-1 ATS after a win Cleveland is 13-26-1 ATS after a loss
Golden State is 44-57-1 ATS this season (43.6%) Cleveland is 40-62-1 ATS this season (39.2%)
Golden State is 23-27-0 ATS on the road Cleveland is 17-33-1 ATS at home
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Vancouver born and bred, Eric is a print and broadcast journalism graduate now based in TO. His current project involves getting his wife to join him on the couch this fall to watch football on Sundays from 1pm kickoff till the Sunday night game expires.