Golden State, who also had 30 points from Klay Thompson and 26 from Stephen Curry, would become the first team in National Basketball Association history to make an unbeaten play-off run to the crown by winning game four on Friday in Cleveland. He is the best player in the world, and has been for a while, so one would assume that the Cavaliers would count on scoring in the last 3 minutes and 9 seconds of the most important game of the year. The Golden State Warriors have won 12 straight road games. No team has ever gone undefeated in the playoffs and no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series in National Basketball Association history. "So we made enough plays tonight to still win the ballgame, but they made a couple more".
Cleveland turned an eight-point third quarter deficit into a seven point lead with James in the game from the 11:35 mark to the 40-second mark in the third quarter.
Kevin Durant came to the Warriors for moments like these.
What I remember from that game previous year was their defense pushed us out to half court and they were grabbing and really being physical on our shooters.
"This isn't a team that's going to come out and say, 'We're down 3-0, we're laying down, '" Green said.
"I said it after we won the Eastern Conference Finals that we're getting ready for a juggernaut", James said during his postgame press conference, as reported by ESPN. "And they made the plays down the stretch, so you got to give credit to those guys".
Durant knocked down a baseline jumper over Tristan Thompson to make it a one-possession game, 111-113, and after Kyle Korver bricked a triple on the other end, Durant confidently pulled up for his own three-pointer on the break to give the Warriors the lead.
James had 39 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, but his attempt at a tying 3-pointer was blocked by Andre Iguodala and James stepped out of bounds after recovering it, slamming the ball to the court in frustration.
"I gave everything that I had, so at times throughout the game I was exhausted, but that's just because I was just playing as hard as I could", James said. "And just we obviously - we want 16 wins; it doesn't matter how we get there. Fatigue will play a role".
I don't think that our careers are the same as far as changing teams. Durant finished with four 3-pointers, Thompson six and Curry five.
Back home after being outrun and outgunned by the Warriors, who won Games 1 and 2 at Oracle Arena by a combined 41 points, the Cavs find themselves in the same predicament they were in a year ago.
"So I just stayed there, high hands, contested", James said.