NBA Finals -- Cavs avoid sweep, thrash Warriors in Game 4

NBA Finals -- Cavs avoid sweep, thrash Warriors in Game 4

Kevin Durant, who led the Warriors with 35.

But Kyrie Irving and LeBron James shone as the Cavs forced a fifth game.

Cleveland scored 49 in the first quarter and 86 during a dizzying opening 24 minutes that left players and fans gasping for air. And the Suns tacked on 57 more in the second quarter for good measure.

After a record-setting first quarter, the Cavaliers scored 86 points by halftime, setting a new record for points in a half during the Finals.

The Cavaliers scored 137 points in Game 5 on June 9, and the Warriors left Quicken Loans Arena with nearly as many bruises on their battered bodies. The previous record was 79 first half points by the 1985 Boston Celtics.

The Cavs should be confident going forward in this series. He is one of the only two players that has a career average of 25 points, six rebounds, and six assists.

The Cavs were also well aware that in the final minutes of Game 3 that Stephen Curry stopped on the floor and squatted in what many perceived to be an insulting gesture.

Kyrie Irving paced the Cavs with 40 points, including seven 3-pointers, while also adding seven rebounds and four assists.

The Warriors also couldn't locate that critical momentum-swinging shot, no matter the effort.

The early 11-point lead was Cleveland's biggest lead yet in The Finals. To start the game, Cleveland shot 22 free throws to the Warriors' 11.

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Golden State were bidding for a ideal run of 16 wins from 16 in the play-offs - a feat never achieved before.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will live to play another day.

The Quicken Loans Arena crowd came to cheer with throat-shredding abandon.

Wearing a white hooded sweat shirt, the New York Giants receiver was standing near the entrance and called out to Curry as the Warriors star was walking through security. I'm pretty sure Draymond won't get suspended for Game 5. "Listen, you ain't got to go undefeated".

So after Golden State finishes this off, where does Cleveland go from there?

If the Warriors finish off a sweep, this would be the earliest start to the National Basketball Association offseason since the Boston Celtics beat the Houston Rockets for the title on June 8, 1986.

That is, except for a massive image of the Larry O'Brien Trophy, prominently displayed on the middle of the floor. Part of the ticket money is going to charity.

Will Cleveland have to play the next three games this way to come out as National Basketball Association champions?

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, some vendors outside the Cavs' arena apparently are preparing for the likelihood that this is the last home game of the season. "We want to celebrate in the Bay Area".

The Cleveland Cavaliers know something about historic comebacks.

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The game was the most physical yet of the Finals and saw James and Durant come face-to-face at midcourt for a heated argument while a play was being reviewed.

There were ref conspiracy theories, endless 3-1 references and "Cavs in 7" chants. The Warriors failed to crown a regular season in which they set a record with 73 wins.

In any event, the Cavs are still breathing and it's now the Warriors who may be feeling the pressure after blowing a 3-1 lead last June.

Still, veteran guard Richard Jefferson said following Friday's shootaround the Cavs aren't giving up or giving in.

But when his second infraction came, officials said the technical assessed to Green in the first half actually was meant for Warriors coach Steve Kerr. "We understand the task is large, we understand the task has not been done before". "This was as close to a 48-minute game as we played in the postseason".

"The boys are going to come back home and win it on their own soil", said Nicole Owens.

"Warriors for life!" said fan Lesie Beltran. "We know it's (Game 5) going to be a challenge".

"We are in the NBA Finals, no matter what you need to inspire you, no matter what you need to grab ahold of, chalkboard material, whatever happens, like it's so hard to win a championship and kudos to them for finding whatever it took to play an incredible game, which they did". Magic Johnson has said that his Lakers would probably have even done it in a sweep. "I thought they played a tremendous game", said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

He added: "The guys in the '50s would have destroyed everybody".

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