Cavaliers 137, Warriors 116 (Golden State leads 3-1)

After Game 3, Kevin Durant emphasized that the Warriors’ job was not done. “Closeout games are always the toughest,” he said. That proved true Friday night.

It was clear from opening tip that the Cavs did not want to see the Larry O’Brien handed to another team at the Q. They made a big statement in the opening quarter, erupting for an NBA Finals record 49 points. Everyone showed up to play, including big man Tristan Thompson, who was nowhere to be found through the first three contests. “He’s a big piece of our puzzle,” LeBron said of TT afterwards.

By halftime, Cleveland had tallied an equally insane 86 POINTS (also a record) and extended their advantage to 18. Kyrie had already scored 28 on 11/14 and LeBron’s stat line looked like a typo: 22 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds. As a team, the Cavs shot 61% from the field and 59% from deep. Yes, you read all of that correctly.

Things got weird in the third quarter. Really weird. LeBron and KD exchanged words. Draymond appeared to get ejected after picking up his 2nd technical, which we soon found out was only his 1st. There were multiple flagrant foul call reviews and an OFF-THE-BACKBOARD Tracy McGrady-esque self alley-oop. It was as eventful a quarter as we’ve seen this postseason, but the lead barely changed. Cleveland was up 115-96 heading into the 4th.

Every time Golden State threatened to make it interesting, LeBron and Kyrie responded. The King notched yet another triple-double (31p, 11a, 10r), passing Magic Johnson for the most in Finals history (9), while Uncle Drew dropped a cool 40 points. “Every game is do or die and we understand that,” Irving stated, “We’re ready to live in it.”

“We got some championship DNA,” James added.

Oh yeah, and the Cavs broke another Finals record – the most three-pointers in a single game (24).

KD (35 points) was the primary guy for the Dubs, who lost their first game in the 2017 playoffs. Head coach Steve Kerr told reporters what he thought was the major difference in this one: “I think the biggest thing is they brought a level of physicality that we did not match…and we have to do a better job with that.”

After hearing “Draymond sucks” chants during the game, Green bashed the entire city of Cleveland: “I don’t pay much attention to anybody in Cleveland, honestly. They don’t seem to be the sharpest people around.” Ouch.

Curry and Thompson combined for just 27 points on 8/24. “I want to play better and will play better,” Steph remarked later. Commenting on the team as a whole, he pointed out that they’ve “done a good job of bouncing back and being resilient all year.”

In the end, we should be thankful. Cleveland has given us fans the greatest gift in the world – more basketball.

“Our mindset is to go up there [to Oakland] and get one,” LeBron said.

See you Monday.