Saturday, June 13, 2015

Game 4 - Out of Gas

Cleveland got out to their customary quick lead scoring the first seven points of the game. Golden State raced back and from that point forward, Cleveland was treading water. The Warriors put the clamps on LeBron James, who scored only 20 points on 22 field goals.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr decided to start Andre Iguodala over Andrew Bogut for Game 4. Iguodala had started every game of his All Star career before this season. Before Game 4, he had come of the bench in every game this season. At first, the Cavs bullied the undersized Warriors down low. Timofey Mozgov finished with 28 points. Mozgov was the only true center who saw big minutes for either team. Tristan Thompson finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

But the move to Iguodala turned out to be masterful. AI scored a season-high 22 points and grabbed 8 boards. Draymond Green added 17 points and Harrison Barnes scored 14.  Stephen Curry contributed 22. Though Golden State gave up size, they added quick-strike capabilities on offense, which led to some key runs. The smaller lineup only turned the ball over a total of seven times.

The Warriors used to two guys off the bench to great success. David Lee scored 9 points in 15 minutes and Shaun Livingston was a valuable player. Meanwhile, the Cavs' perimeter players seemed tired. Matthew Dellavedova had spent the night after Game 3 in the hospital due to exhaustion. He gave a great effort, but struggled. Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith didn't add much offensively. James Jones didn't score in 18 minutes.

Cleveland trailed only by 6 after three quarters, but had nothing at home in the fourth. Mozgov's 28 points was only the fourth time in NBA Finals history that an undrafted player scored at least 20 points. Dellavedova had been the third player in Game 3.

Golden State won 103-82 to tie the series. The extra day's rest before Game 5 in Golden State should help Cleveland, who needs the rest more.

No comments: