Warriors beat Cavs and move to brink of NBA title

Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:05am EDT
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By Frank Pingue

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - The Golden State Warriors bounced back from an embarrassing road loss two days ago to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-97 on Friday and move one win away from a second consecutive NBA championship.

The win was a devastating blow to LeBron James's Cavaliers, who lost their first home game of the postseason and now trail the best-of-seven NBA Finals 3-1 with Game Five scheduled for Monday in Oakland.

"All of our guys played extremely well. We just competed like crazy," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters. "It was a great response from Game Three, where we were really embarrassed by our performance."

Stephen Curry powered Golden State, who lost by 30 points on Wednesday, by scoring a game-high 38 while Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 34 points. James had 25 points and 13 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the postseason.

Of the 32 teams that have faced a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals none have ever come back to win the championship.

But Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, well aware that the odds are stacked against his team, had a blunt message.

"If you don't think we can win, don't get on the plane. I just think we've got to come back anyway, so we might as well come back and play," said Lue, about the possibility of forcing a Game Six. "We've got to come back to Cleveland, don't we?"

The Warriors, who fell behind by as many as 20 points after a miserable start to Game Three, responded with a much stronger effort to start this one as each team traded shots for much of the first two quarters.   Continued...

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and Warriors forward Anderson Varejao (18) reach for the ball in front of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert (4) and Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the third quarter in game four of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports