Warriors answer the bell with statement win over Cavaliers

Sat Jun 11, 2016 2:09am EDT
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By Frank Pingue

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - The Golden State Warriors answered the bell on Friday with a statement victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers that put them in position to cap their record-setting season with a second consecutive NBA title.

After being blown out in Game Three of the NBA Finals and relinquishing momentum to the Cavs, the Warriors responded in style with a potent offense and lockdown defense to earn a 3-1 stranglehold on the series and a chance to clinch it at home.

"Obviously it's a big game, and one we needed to bounce back individually as a team to figure out how to get a win on the road and put ourselves in pretty good position," Warriors guard Stephen Curry told reporters.

"So, you know, we answered the bell, especially in the first quarter, controlling the pace of the game and not losing it like we did in Game Three."

After days of answering criticism for their uncharacteristic performance during Wednesday's loss, it was Curry, the league's Most Valuable Player, who led the way for the Warriors.

Curry, who averaged a mere 16 points over the first three games of the NBA Finals, lit up on Friday with a game-high 38 points on 11-for-25 shooting, including seven three-pointers.

Fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson also rediscovered his touch and added 25 points for a Warriors team that looked much more like the squad that won a record 73 games during the NBA's 82-game regular season.

"This team has been through a lot together. This team has great character. No matter what we continue to battle," said Warriors forward Draymond Green.   Continued...

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) speaks to the media during a press conference after game four of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena. The Warriors won 108-97. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports