Photo above: Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers grabs a rebound in the first half of Thursday’s Game Four.
After Game Three of the NBA Finals it should have been clear to everyone that LeBron James is going to have the best playoffs performance of his career, win or lose. For most observers the edge in this series belongs to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Golden State Warriors were the best offensive team in the NBA during the season. They seemed like the best bet to win it all. But with games two and three the Cavaliers have figured out a way to shut down Steph Curry, the league MVP point guard of the Warriors. And the Cavs did it with an undrafted rookie guard from Australia: Matthew Dellavedova.
He took the place of star Kyrie Irving and has proven he is capable of keeping up with Steph Curry and Golden State. Dellavedova might be the biggest news of the Finals. He scores points, hustles for the ball and was on the floor a number of times in Game Three to grab loose balls — plus he played defense against Steph Curry, one of the two best players in the game.
On top of that LeBron James has had three epic performances and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. This could be LeBron’s finest playoffs.
It was not the game anyone was expecting to see at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The top scorers for both teams were unexpected, the stars of the game were not what everyone expected and the final score looked nothing like the previous two games.
When the game got under way, the big change for the Golden State Warriors was that Andre Igoudala got his first start of the season, scoring 22 points and eight rebounds. On top of that Igoudala was playing against the best player in the league, LeBron James.
The game got off to a big start for the Cleveland Cavaliers, they jumped out to a 7-0 lead over Golden State. But Warriors head coach called a time out and from that point on his team not only clawed back, but they scored 31 points in the first quarter, leading Cleveland by seven.
The second quarter went Golden State’s way as well. They scored 23 points while the Cavaliers managed to only put up 18 points.
It was in the second quarter when LeBron James went crashing into a camera lens, cutting his head badly. He had gone to the basket and Andrew Bogut hit him with a hard foul that sent James to the floor, crashing into a photographer and his camera.
The half time score was 54-42. It was already beginning to look like a blowout, but the Cavs didn’t get to the Finals by accident.
They attempted a comeback in the second half, coming within four points in the third, but once the fourth quarter started the Warriors began to dominate the game once again.
The final score was 103-82.
Timofey Mozgov led Cleveland scorers with 28 points and 10 rebounds and LeBron James added 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Steph Curry and Andre Igoudala scored 22 a piece for Golden State and Draymond Green added 17. Starting Igoudala in Game Four might seem like a stroke of genius, but throughout his career he has been a stand out player and All-Star. Golden State needed to shake things up an coach Steve Kerr and putting Igoudala back in the starting lineup, a role he had been comfortable with his entire career, turned out to be a great decision.
One other big stat to take away from this game: Golden State committed only seven turnovers. In Game Three they committed 14 and Game Two 13.
Game five will be back at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA on Sunday, June 14.
(All photos by Claudia Gestro)
Claudia is of Peruvian and Italian descent, having been born in a small town, in the North of Peru, South America. She was raised by her grandmother from an early age, living in poverty until Claudia’s mother brought her to America. She landed in Miami, FL and started her new life, playing high school basketball and eventually becoming a United States citizen. Claudia completed her education at Florida International University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and became a model to supplement her income. Since graduating from FIU Claudia has worked with many of the Spanish Language broadcasting companies, including Telemundo, Univision and most recently Spanish Language channels on SiriusXM satellite radio and PasTV Deportes in Venezuela.She encourages you to follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Her content appears here under a shared content agreement with her Spanish television clients.