THE NBA FINALS UPDATE: GAME 4 RECAP
Put away those king-sized brooms and all that bubbly champagne too - at least for now - as there will be no sweep in this year's NBA Finals but we do wonder aloud why the Golden State Warriors never did arrive for the Game 4 party on Friday night.
Now, let's get something straight: The Warriors - who entered that Game 4 with that ridiculous 15-0 SU (straight-up) playoff record - made it be known they wished to become the first-ever NBA team to go undefeated in a post-season and surely they had a hankering to celebrate in Cleveland's "house" one year after the Cavaliers won a decisive Game 7 in Oakland.
Yet, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said afterwards that Cleveland "came out and handed it to us" with an NBA Finals record 49 points scored in the opening quarter and NBA-best 86 points scored by halftime.
So much for wanting to be known as the "best team ever", right?
THE NBA FINALS - GAME 4 RECAP
CLEVELAND 137, GOLDEN STATE 116 -- Warriors lead series 3-1, Game 5 is Monday at 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Let's first agree with Cavaliers' megastar LeBron James (yet another triple double with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the Game 4 rout) that his team has "championship DNA" as that rousing performance was not what most experts predicted after that heart-wrenching loss in Game 3.
James was brilliant - and we loved the face-to-face shout down with Golden State's Kevin Durant in this wild and often out-of-control game - and sidekick Kyrie Irving (40 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists) was even better but who on earth ever could have forecast 24-of-45 made triples against the team that makes NBA trifectas their signature shot (yet the Warriors canned just 11 treys on the night)?
The Warriors didn't play any perimeter defense and were lazy on switches plus admittedly they got a few bad whistles in a first quarter that featured 22 free-throw attempts by the Cavs - with about half of 'em misses! Throw in the fact that Durant was the only G-State star that showed up with 35 points (although the Warriors were a minus 22 when K.D. was on the court!) while "Splash Brothers" Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were truly MIA ... a combined 8-of-24 from the field.
Okay, so the video from this one won't be part of the NBA manual in how to referee a game - geez, we're not saying the zebras screwed over Golden State or anything like that but the calls were bad all night and replays bore that out as pointed out by ESPN studio analyst Tim Legler. It all added up to an at-times violent game with way-too-many replay stoppages - and more stops than G-State had all night.
Okay, so nobody's comparing 'em to the 1996 Chicago Bulls or 1972 Los Angeles Lakers right about now!