Cavaliers get first NBA Finals win in style

Deron Williams actually scored a bucket. Instead of an ejection for Pachulia, however, he and Shumpert were slapped with technicals. As this was being sorted out, Todd Leebow, a friend of James who was sitting with the three-time champion's business partners, got involved in an argument with Golden State's bench and was asked to leave.

The third quarter was a rugged affair.

The Cleveland Cavaliers needed to make a fast start against the Golden State Warriors and they did.

NOTES: LeBron James said his mother, Gloria, did not want him to return to Cleveland and play for the Cavaliers in 2014, according to cleveland.com. Of course, audiences tend to swell when the games are closer, so it's no surprise that Wednesday's Game 3 classic has been the most-watched game of the series thus far.

What would this series have looked like through the first three games if the Cavaliers had shot the ball from 3-point range the way they had all season? Golden State will be at full strength this time, and while the Warriors have finally lost a game, they haven't lost any confidence.

That was the lesson from Friday night in Game 4. It forces a Game 5 in the best-of-seven series and denies the Warriors - who lead the series 3-1 - the chance to become the first team in National Basketball Association history to go undefeated throughout the playoffs.

They kept it up in the second quarter, taking an 86-68 lead into halftime as their 3-pointers continued to find the bottom of the net. And they all agreed as a unit that they were told by the officials that that first-half technical was on Draymond Green. "We shared the ball, we moved the ball and defensively we were physical", James said. We're still a special team as well.

LeBron James put forth another brilliant postseason performance in Game 4, scoring 31 points, dishing out 11 assists, and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Cavaliers: James jumped Michael Jordan (1,176) on the Finals scoring list, and hopped over His Airness (1,463) for the most made free throws in pro basketball's showcase event. Their seven triples propelled them to a 16-point first quarter lead. Tristan Thompson had almost as many rebounds in Game 4 (10) as he had in Games 1-3 combined (11).

Kevin Durant, who led the way with 31 points, was eager to stay grounded ahead of what could be a decisive contest on Friday. Ton of fouls called early, a lot of holding and grabbing and pushing and shoving. Here are the best reactions from an improbable Cavs win.

"I think the biggest thing, though, was they brought a level of physicality that we did not match".

Irving hit 15-of-27 shots from the floor, going 7-of-12 from 3-point range to set the pace for a finals record 24 3-points on 45 attempts. The playoffs would not be complete without their involvement in some extracurricular commotion, the kind that their first three series weren't quite competitive enough to allow.

"I thought they called it on Draymond; I thought I deserved it", Kerr said of the first-quarter call.

In last year's NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead to their bitter rivals the Cleveland Cavaliers.

As the final seconds ticked off, Cleveland fans chanted "Cavs in 7".

If Cleveland can keep playing this way, that cheer might not be so insane.

"Believeland is not going to give up", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said, "and we're going to keep fighting. But we'll go back and tee it up again".

  • Zachary Reyes