CLEVELAND -- With a team full of three All-Stars and widely-respected role players, the Cleveland Cavaliers have never lacked for confidence, not especially in postseason play, and they played like a confident team in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night.
Facing elimination after losing the first three games of the 2017 NBA Finals, the Cavaliers summoned the fight of a defending champion and hustled their way to a 137-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Friday night.
“It started at shootaround,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. “Had a great vibe in the shootaround and guys were upbeat, wasn’t hanging heads or sad. Guys were into it. Golden State’s a tough team. We understand that, but we just felt that we have gotten better each game.
“We felt if we played our basketball and make shots and play our brand of basketball, that we could win. So (that) was who we are, we made shots, and defensively, I thought we were pretty good.”
Despite offensive struggles in the first three games of the best-of-seven series, the Cavaliers regrouped and set multiple franchise and NBA Finals records.
As a team, the Cavaliers converted 24 of their 45 three-point attempts (53.3 percent), and set NBA Finals records for three-pointers made (24), points in a quarter (49) and in a half (86) on the way to the victory, one in which they led from their first shot to the finish.
“Our motivational speech was our back’s against the wall, Game 4 of The Finals, needing a win,” Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love said. “I think that I said it after Game 2; that if you can’t get up for these games, especially coming back home, being at a deficit, then you might as well go home.
“We’re not going home. We’re going back to Oakland and need to take it one game at a time. I know that’s cliché, but that’s the truth.
“I think that confidence just comes from experience and a lot of guys being here before and a lot of guys, whether it’s their first time, being hungry to get out there and make a difference for us. So we feel like it’s a number of things, and we needed everything.”
Down 3-1 after Game 4 of The Finals in Cleveland, the Cavaliers have been in this position before, and just like last year, they are aiming for a happy flight home after Game 5.
“Well, we have to come back home, so we might as well come back with a win,” Lue said. “That’s our mentality. We know it’s a tough environment to play in. We played well there before, so if we have the same approach that we had, of physicality, locking in defensively, cutting down on some of our mistakes and we shoot the ball well, then we have great chances.
“Our fans were great. Being down 3-0 and coming into this building, they gave us a lot of energy, a lot of juice, and gave us a lot of fight. Believe-Land is not going to give up, and we’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to keep scrapping.”
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