Splash Brothers return: Warriors win 108-97

NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers
Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Fans, sports reporters and even other players were asking where had the Splash Brothers gone? Without the dominate play of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, it does not seem possible that the Golden State Warriors could find success on the basketball court. Yet despite the relatively quiet NBA Finals that Curry and Thompson have experienced, the Warriors went into game four on Friday night up 2-1 in the best of seven series.

On Friday night, something happened that made every fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers very unhappy. The Splash Brothers – Curry and Thompson – showed back up in Cleveland in a very big way. Curry and Thompson combined to score 63 of Golden State’s 108 points and they led the Warriors to a 108-97 win to take 3-1 lead in the series as it heads back to the Bay Area.

Stephen Curry – the NBA’s Most Valuable Player – led all scorers with 38 points. He connected on 7-of-13 3-point attempts and shot 11-for-25 overall. Curry converted 9-of-10 free throw opportunities. He also dished out six assists, grabbed five rebounds and had two steals.

Klay Thompson – the other half of the Splash Brothers – put up 25 points against Cleveland on Friday night. Thompson shot 4-for-9 from behind the 3-point line while going 7-for-14 from the floor. He was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line.

LeBron James scored 25 points but did not lead the Cavaliers in scoring. He shot 11-for-21 from the floor but went just 1-for-5 from long distance. James went to the free throw line just four times and converted just two of those opportunities. He hauled in 13 rebounds, distributed nine assists, had three blocked shots and two steals. James also became a little testy with Draymond Green late in the game that resulted in off-setting fouls. The Cavs could have used some of that fire earlier in the game.

Golden State

The Warriors shot 47.2-percent (17-for-36) from beyond the 3-point line. Those 17 3-point baskets set a new NBA Playoff single game record for conversions from downtown. Harrison Barnes hit four 3-pointers while Andre Iguodala added two of his own.

Golden State outrebounded the Cavaliers 43-40. Draymond Green led the Warriors with 12 rebounds.

The Warriors had six blocked shots in the game and Draymond Green had three of those.

Golden State posted 23 assists and turned the ball over just nine times to exceed the magic 2:1 ratio. The Warriors gave up just nine points off those nine turnovers.

The Warriors defense was in lock down mode especially in the second half on Friday night. They held the Cavs to just 24.0-percent (6-for-25) from 3-point range. Golden State forced Cleveland to turn the ball over 11 times and scored 18 points off those turnovers. The Cavaliers were held to just 20 points in the fourth quarter of the game.

Cleveland

Kyrie Irving led the Cavs scoring attack on Friday night with 34 points. He shot 14-for-28 from the floor and 2-for-6 from long distance. Irving had four rebounds and four assists in the game.

Kevin Love returned to the series after missing game three with concussion symptoms. Love did not start the game but he did play 25 minutes. He scored 11 points shooting 3-for-6 from the floor including one 3-point basket. Love also had five rebounds.

Tristan Thompson and JR Smith had 10 points each in the game.

The Cavaliers shot just 57.7-percent (15-for-26) from the free throw line. That statistic will haunt the Cavs over the weekend.

Up next

No team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals. Teams are 0-32 when trying to make that happen. Now those are some bad odds.

The Cavaliers and Warriors will meet for game five on Monday night in Oakland at Oracle Arena. The Warriors will be trying to win the Larry O’Brien trophy in front of the hometown fans Monday night.

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