Warriors, Cavaliers arrive in the Bay Area for Game 5
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 11, 2017,
Jun 11, 2017, 10:32
Same place as past year: Warriors up 3-1, NBA Finals go westBy BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball WriterCLEVELAND (AP) - The celebrating after Game 4 was done by Cavaliers fans, not Golden State players, their families or anyone else dressed in blue and gold who came looking for a historic party."Cavs in 7!"
(Ronald Martinez/Pool Photo via AP).
So where do we go from here? Call them names. Write them off. Let's take a look at five reasons Cleveland can pull off the impossible and win the 2017 NBA Finals.
James and Durant received technical fouls in the 3rd quarter after yelling at each other, two of 7 technicals issued in the game, 5 in a raucous 3rd quarter. They also heard a lot of talk about how they were going to lose these finals in four games and that they were done as any real championship contender for the next few years. No team had ever squandered a 3-1 lead in the Finals and lost.
It's risky, and not for the faint of heart. James finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for his ninth triple-double, passing Magic Johnson for first place in Finals history. "It causes too much stress", James said. But Irving's inconsistency keeps him from being mentioned as one the NBA's truly elite stars, and it could be Cleveland's undoing in this series. "But listen, at the end of the day we just got some resilient guys".
The Cavaliers would be staring at the first of a near-impossible climb - no team has won in the National Basketball Association reversing a 0-3 deficit. Zero and 126 is the record.
Maybe these chaotic Cavs are just the team to do it.
The odds they face remain extremely long. Going 16-0 in the post-season and winning two championships in three years would cement this Warriors team as a "dynasty" spoken in same league as the 1990s Chicago Bulls, the 2000s Lakers and Spurs and the Celtics/Lakers teams of the 1980s. "We have been in this situation before".
But beyond their resiliency, the Cavs have displayed a mental toughness through all kinds of adversity.
As far as three-point shooting goes, it's a pretty safe assumption that the Cavs won't hit 24 threes on 53.3 percent shooting like they did Friday night. "They don't seem to be the sharpest people around".
Cleveland led 49-33 after the first quarter and 86-68 at half-time, the Cavaliers setting scoring records for any half or quarter in finals history.
Even in Golden State's 137-116 Game 4 loss, Kevin Durant was terrific. However, he can't explain the defending champions' ability to bounce back. "But hey, it's the day and age we live in". The Warriors led last year's Finals 3-1 with the series moving to Golden State for Game 5, and the rest became history.
Said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr of James and Irving: "They were phenomenal".
"Every game is do-or-die and we understand that", Kyrie Irving said.
"We're relishing the challenge and welcome all challenges that we'll be faced with throughout the game". Then you add some chatter in there, and that adds some extra motivation. "I think it was we played a desperate team on their home floor, a great team, with great players, and they came out and handed it to us". "That's just how I'm built".
Also, in the closing moments of Game 3 when Kevin Durant buried a go-ahead 3-pointer, Stephen Curry celebrated by popping a momentary squat - which some have interpreted as Curry pretending to defecate on the Cavs' court.
They now lead the best-of-seven series 3-1. "We will watch film and see where we can get better".
"That first quarter, they came out and hit us with that unbelievable punch", Durant said.