NBA Finals Game 4: 2 Things to Watch
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ inside game appears to be winning over the Golden State Warriors’ outside game in the NBA championship series. Whether this changes, remains to be seen. But the Warriors did a couple of things in Game 3 Tuesday night that could give them the edge as the series moves forward.
First of all, the Warriors’ shooting came around in the second half Tuesday. After having horrendous shooting performances over seven previous quarters, they mounted a couple of runs, fueled largely by Stephen Curry’s three pointers. It brought them from a 20-point deficit to a three-point deficit, before running out of gas in the final seconds of the 96-91 loss. The Warriors shot just 35 percent from behind the arc, but they made 12 3s, the most they have made in the series.
Secondly, the Warriors began to counter the Cavs’ inside game. Cleveland’s duo of Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov had been running roughshod over the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights in Games 1 and 2. Thompson and Mozgov outscored the Warriors’ trio 37-21, and outrebounded them 57-25, in the first two games. In Game 3, Warriors Coach Steve Kerr benched Speights and gave David Lee a chance. The 6-9, 245-pound Lee contributed 11 points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of work, and could add another dimension to Golden State’s inside game. The result: Mozgov-Thompson, 16 points, 20 rebounds; Bogut-Ezeli-Lee, 20 points, 19 rebounds.
The Warriors have nothing to keep LeBron James from scoring. But if the trend of outside shooting and inside counter-punching can continue Thursday, Golden State could be a couple of 12-15-point runs from taking back this series when play resumes in Oakland.
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