11:29 p.m.-WARRIORS WIN THIRD NBA CHAMPIONSHIP IN FOUR YEARS WITH SWEEP OF CAVALIERS
CLEVELAND -- For the second straight season and third time in the last four years, the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions.
Golden State earned its second consecutive Larry O’Brien Trophy and completed a four-game sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 108-85 victory in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Friday night.
Dating back to the days of the Philadelphia, and later, San Francisco Warriors, Golden State won its sixth title in franchise history Friday night.
In the series-clinching victory, point guard Stephen Curry led the way for the Warriors with 37 points, which he tallied by knocking down 12 of his 27 looks from the field, including seven of his 15 three-point attempts against the Cavaliers.
On the way to his second straight NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award, Warriors small forward Kevin Durant averaged 28.75 points, 10.25 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.0 blocked shots over 41.0 minutes of action in the four-game sweep of the Cavaliers.
Durant had scoring lines of 26, 26, 43 and 20 over the four games against the Cavaliers this postseason, and registered a triple-double of 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the close-out game.
Cavaliers small forward LeBron James scored 23 points, pulled down seven rebounds and handed out eight assists in the Game 4 loss.
10:59 p.m.-WARRIORS OPEN UP 20-POINT LEAD OVER CAVALIERS
CLEVELAND -- Third-quarter woes plagued the Cleveland Cavaliers all throughout the regular season and first three rounds of the playoffs, and that proved to be the case once more against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night.
Already up by nine points coming out of halftime, the Warriors outscored the Cavaliers, 25-13, on the way to an 86-65 lead after the third quarter of play.
After not scoring a single point in the first half, Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson knocked down four of his eight looks from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, on the way to a team-best 10-point showing in the third quarter.
In addition to Thompson, the Warriors got a combined 11 points from small forward Kevin Durant (six) and point guard Stephen Curry (five) in the third quarter.
While the Warriors shot just 39.1 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from three-point range, both statistics were better than the Cavaliers. Cleveland made only four of its 17 attempts from the field (23.5 percent) and one of its six three-point tries out of the halftime break.
10:15 p.m.-LATE THREE GIVES WARRIORS NINE-POINT HALFTIME LEAD OVER CAVS
CLEVELAND -- A three-pointer from Stephen Curry with the clock winding down gave the Golden State Warriors a 61-52 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers at halftime of Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night.
Including Curry’s buzzer-beating jumper from the left wing, the Warriors knocked down nine of their 17 looks from three-point range over the first half of play in what could be the clinching game for the organization’s third NBA Championship in the last four seasons.
As a whole, the Warriors made 23 of their 44 attempts from the field (52.3 percent) in the first half, while despite knocking down six three-pointers, the Cavaliers converted just 18 of their 47 looks at the basket (38.3 percent).
Curry paced the Warriors with 20 first-half points, while small forward Kevin Durant added 12.
Small forward LeBron James and shooting guard JR Smith led the Cavaliers with 16 and 10 points, respectively, over the first 24 minutes of action.
9:52 p.m.-CAVS START SECOND QUARTER ON 14-4 SCORING RUN
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers had a sluggish start to the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals, but that was far from the case at the beginning of the second period at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night.
The Cavaliers began the second quarter on a 14-4 scoring run and took a one-point lead, 39-38, on a dunk from small forward LeBron James with 7:12 remaining before halftime.
Reserve forward Jeff Green ignited the scoring drive with a three-pointer just 24 seconds into the quarter, and then, center Larry Nance Jr. made his mark on the scoreboard.
After assisting on Green’s triple when he kicked out an offensive rebound to the perimeter, Nance Jr. corralled another carom after James missed a driving layup and got the put-back to go off the glass.
Then, after James completed a three-point play, Nance Jr. took a pass from guard Rodney Hood and threw down a dunk that brought the Cavaliers to within three points of the Warriors with 8:50 to play in the second quarter.
Shooting guard Kyle Korver made two of his three free-throw attempts after being fouled by Warriors guard Klay Thompson while pulling up for a shot from the left wing, James put the Cavaliers in front with a dunk that guard JR Smith assisted on.
The Warriors went scoreless for nearly three straight minutes when the Cavaliers made their run.
9:40 p.m.-WARRIORS LEAD CAVALIERS BY NINE AFTER FIRST QUARTER
CLEVELAND -- The Golden State Warriors rode the momentum from a fast start and 11-3 scoring run midway through the first quarter to a 34-25 advantage over the Cleveland Cavaliers after the first 12 minutes of play in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night.
The Warriors knocked down 13 of their 23 attempts and six of their 10 looks from three-point range, while the Cavaliers struggled through an eight-of-24 showing from the field and three-of-nine performance from long distance in the first quarter.
Point guard Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 12 points and small forward Kevin Durant added eight over the first 12 minutes of play.
Power forward Kevin Love led the way for the Cavaliers with nine points and small forward LeBron James posted eight markers in the first quarter.
9:30 p.m.-GOLDEN STATE GOES BACK UP BY DOUBLE DIGITS
CLEVELAND -- The Golden State Warriors needed just 90 seconds to take a two-point lead and build it into an 11-point advantage over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night.
An 11-2 scoring run gave the Warriors a 24-13 lead over the Cavaliers with 5:07 to play in the first quarter.
Reserve forward Andre Iguodala started the run with a three-pointer, and then, point guard Stephen Curry followed up by taking the ball away from Cavaliers small forward LeBron James and pulling up for a triple just 22 seconds later.
Although Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson knocked down an 11-footer on the ensuing possession, Warriors forward Draymond Green caught a pass from fellow front-courter Kevin Durant and joined the three-point barrage with a triple of his own.
Durant punctuated the run with a transition dunk after Iguodala pulled down the rebound and Green set him up with the outlet pass.
9:23 p.m.-CAVALIERS RESPOND WITH 8-3 SCORING RUN
CLEVELAND -- Although the Golden State Warriors started strong, the Cleveland Cavaliers responded out of a timeout an closed the gap considerably in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night.
Courtesy of an 8-3 scoring run, the Cavaliers trimmed Golden State’s lead down to two points, 13-11, with 6:37 to play in the first quarter.
Center Tristan Thompson and small forward LeBron James each made baskets, but the run was capped off by a three-pointer from power forward Kevin Love, and his shot prompted Golden State to call its first timeout of the game.
9:16 p.m.-WARRIORS START GAME ON 10-3 RUN
CLEVELAND -- Down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, the Cleveland Cavaliers had their backs against the wall and no room for error in the 2018 NBA Finals, but the Golden State Warriors were the ones who came out strong to start Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night.
The Warriors needed less than three minutes to jump out to a 10-3 lead and force the Cavaliers into their first timeout of the game.
While the Cavaliers took a brief lead when shooting guard JR Smith knocked down a three-pointer from the right wing after a drive-and-kick pass from small forward LeBron James, the Warriors scored the next eight points on baskets from Kevin Durant, JaVale McGee and Stephen Curry, as well as a pair of free throws from Curry.
6:30 p.m.-CAVALIERS FOCUSED SOLELY ON GAME 4 AGAINST WARRIORS
CLEVELAND -- Win or there is no tomorrow.
That is what the Cleveland Cavaliers are facing against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals tonight after surrendering a 13-point lead on the way to a 110-102 loss in Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday night.
“That's our main focus, Game 4,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said at practice Thursday. “Just tell the guys Games 1 and 3, we had a chance to win.
“We were right in the game with an opportunity to win those games, so we know we can beat this team, and we have to have the confidence to do that. We've got to be better in some areas that we had some breakdowns in, but our focus is not on winning four. Our focus is winning Game 4. That's got to be our mindset.”
Should the Warriors beat the Cavaliers in Game 4 tonight, it would mark the first time Cleveland was swept in a playoff series since small forward LeBron James returned to the team in the summer of 2014 after a four-year run with the Miami Heat.
Also, it would be the second time the Cavaliers have been swept in The Finals, as they lost four straight games to the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.
“When you're playing, the room for error versus a team like this is slim to none,” James said.
“It's like playing the Patriots. It's like playing San Antonio. The room for error is slim to none. When you make mistakes, they make you pay because they're already more talented than you are, but they also have the minds behind it, too, and they also have the championship DNA.”
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