NBA Finals Game Four: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers

2016 NBA Playoffs
NBA Finals – Game #4
#1 Golden State Warriors at #1 Cleveland Cavaliers
Warriors Lead Best of Seven Series 2-1
Friday, June 10, 2016, 9:05 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Quicken Loans Arena- Cleveland, Ohio
Opening Line: Cleveland -2
Current Line: Cleveland -2
Opening Total: 207
Current Total: 206 1/2
Opening Money Line: Cavaliers -130 / Warriors +110
Current Money Line: Cavaliers -135 / Warriors +115

The Cavaliers look to even the series against the Warriors in game four. Kevin Love could return from a concussion.
The Cavaliers look to even the series against the Warriors in game four. Kevin Love could return from a concussion.

After getting destroyed in the first two games of the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers delivered a beating of their own in game three of the NBA Finals. The Cavaliers try to even the series in game four Friday night at home, while a Warriors’ win will put them one win away from their second straight NBA title with game five in Oakland Monday night.

Golden State won game one 104-89 and game two 110-77 both in Oakland. In game three Wednesday night, the Cavaliers led wire to wire in a 120-90 rout. It was the first time since 2005 between the Spurs and Pistons that the first three games of the NBA Finals were decided by 15 points or more.

Cleveland was a 1.5 point favorite in game three and the total was 206.5. The Cavaliers were without forward Kevin Love who suffered a concussion in game two. He is listed as probable for game four. The Cavaliers jumped out to a 33-16 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Although the Warriors did trim the lead to 8 points by halftime. It was all Cavaliers in the second half as they outscored the Warriors by 22 as they cruised to the 30 point win. The Cavaliers shot 52.7% from the field after shooting under 40% in the first two games. Golden State shot 42.1% from the field including 9/33 from three point range. Cleveland had 60 rebounds to 41 for Golden State. LeBron James had 32 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. Kyrie Irving had 30 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds. J.R. Smith had 20 points. Tristan Thompson had 14 points and 13 rebounds. Stephen Curry had 19 points for the Warriors, and Klay Thomson had 10 points. However, the duo was 10/26 shooting from the field, the third straight subpar shooting performance. Harrison Barnes had 18 for Golden State.

Golden State is coached by Steve Kerr. Kerr won the NBA coach of the year award despite missing almost half the season recovering from back surgery. The Warriors set an NBA record for wins in the regular season with a 73-9 record. They won the Pacific Division by 20 games over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors beat the Houston Rockets in five games in the first round. The Warriors then beat the Portland Trail Blazers in five games in the second round. Two time MVP Stephen Curry suffered knee and ankle injuries in the first round against the Rockets and missed six games in the playoffs. He returned for the last two games against the Blazers and has played ever since. The Warriors came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in seven games in the Western conference Finals. Golden State is the defending NBA Champion. Golden State is 58-42-2 ATS and the total is 53-48-1.

Cleveland is coached by Tyronn Lue, who replaced David Blatt midway though the season. The Cavaliers are the first team in NBA history to make the NBA Finals with two different rookie head coaches in two straight seasons. Cleveland went 57-25 and won the Central Division by 12 games over the Indiana Pacers. Cleveland was the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference and breezed into the Conference Finals by sweeping the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks. The Cavaliers then beat the Toronto Raptors in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavaliers are 47-49-3 ATS and the total is 48-51 this season.

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Golden State is outscoring teams 111-105 in the playoffs. The Warriors are shooting 46.4% from the field and 40.3% from three point range. Golden State makes 73.4% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 41.8% from the field and 34.2% from three point range. The Warriors average 44.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 46.6. Golden State averages 25 assists, 14 turnovers, 8.5 steals and 5.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.4 assists, 15.1 turnovers, 8.2 steals and 5.1 blocks per game.

Curry averages 26.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Klay Thompson averages 26.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game in the playoffs. Thompson is probable with a thigh injury. Draymond Green averages 15.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. Shaun Livingston, Harrison Barnes, Andre Igoudala, Marreese Speights, Leandro Barbosa, Andrew Bogut and Ian Clark will also get minutes in the rotation. Kevon Looney is out for the season with a hip injury.

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Cleveland is outscoring teams 107-94 during the playoffs. The Cavaliers are shooting 47.5% from the field including 43.4% from three point range. The Cavaliers make 72.5% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 45.1% from the field and 34% from three point range. Cleveland averages 43 rebounds per game and opponents average 37.1 per game. The Cavaliers average 22.9 assists, 11.6 turnovers, 7 steals and 3.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 22.9 assists, 12.4 turnovers, 6.1 steals and 3.9 blocks per game.

LeBron James averages 24.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 7 assists and 2.21 steals per game in the playoffs. James is playing in his sixth straight NBA Finals something that hasn’t been done since the 1960’s era Celtics. Kyrie Irving averages 24.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Kevin Love averages 17.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. J.R. Smith averages 12 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Channing Frye averages 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Richard Jefferson, Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellevadova, and Iman Shumpert will also get minutes in the rotation.

Golden State is 4-0 ATS after the opponent scores 100 points or more, 5-1 in NBA Finals games, overall, and against teams with winning records, 4-1 after allowing 100 points or more, and on one day rest, 8-2 after failing to cover, 22-9-2 after a double digit loss, and 35-16 after a straight up loss. The Warriors are 6-2 ATS against the Cavaliers recently. The under is 9-4-1 in this series recently.

Cleveland is 7-0 ATS at home, 6-0 against teams with winning road records, 7-3 against Pacific teams, 11-5 on one day rest, 2-5 against Western Conference teams, and 1-5 in NBA Finals games. The favorite is 6-2 ATS in this series recently.

There is no guarantee that Love will play tonight or even start if he does. Whether Love plays or not,  James and Irving have to play at the same level they did in game three, perhaps even higher. As for the Warriors, the Splash Brothers need to get their shooting touch back. I think the Cavaliers win a close game at home to even the series.

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