The Golden State Warriors had been here before. Down 2-1 in their second-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Warriors responded with a big Game 4 effort on the road and went on to win the series in six games. Down 2-1 in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State responded with a big Game 4 effort on the road and came away with a 103-82 victory to tie the series at 2-2.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr made a huge adjustment to start the game, inserting Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup over Andrew Bogut. It looked like the move backfired at first, as the Cavaliers jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, but Golden State quickly responded and Iguodala put forth a masterful performance. Iggy finished with 22 points (the most points he’s scored all year) and eight rebounds while shooting 8-of-15 overall and 4-of-9 from three, and he also helped frustrate LeBron James into a 7-of-22 shooting performance.
James still finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, but he was a bit off from the start, missing a bunch of chippies around the basket. By the end of the game, he was clearly gassed. Cleveland actually trimmed a 15-point second-half deficit down to three on several occasions, but there was nothing left in the tank in the fourth quarter and the Warriors ran away to an easy victory.
Stephen Curry matched Iguodala with 22 points, while Draymond Green looked much more like himself with 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Golden State shot 46.8 percent overall and 12-of-30 from three after struggling so much the last two games.
Timofey Mozgov scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, as the big Russian took advantage of the small lineups Kerr primarily stuck with in this game. Tristan Thompson also played well with 12 points and 13 rebounds, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Cavaliers shot 33.0 percent overall and 4-of-27 from three.
The Warriors looked more like the Warriors in this one, and now they go back to Oracle Arena with a chance to grab control of this series. The extra day off will help the short-handed Cavaliers, but will it help enough? It’s going to be an uphill battle.