Warriors Find Winning Formula
Coach Steve Kerr tweaked the Golden State Warriors’ strategy, and it worked. The Warriors went small, ran hard and never looked back on the way to a 103-82 victory over Cleveland in Game 4 of the NBA championship series on Thursday. The win evened the series as the two teams head back to Oakland for a Sunday showdown.
With their starting lineup, the Warriors pretty much conceded the inside game, where the Cavs had so dominated. Kerr inserted 6-6 Andre Iguodala for 7-footer Andrew Bogut, and off they went. The strategy paid off twofold. Iguodala was the star of the show, scoring 22 points and hauling down eight rebounds. More than that, the smaller lineup allowed the Warriors to run the tiring and shorthanded Cavaliers into the ground.
A surge late in the first period put the Warriors in control of the game, and they never trailed again. They led by 12 at the half and, even though the Cavaliers cut the lead to three at one point in the third period, the Warriors continually answered with shots they had missed during the previous two games. By the time the waning moments of the game arrived, Golden State had a 19-point lead and the victory assured.
The Warriors shot 47 percent to Cleveland’s 33 percent. They also got 22 points out of their MVP, Stephen Curry, who went 8 of 17 from the field, 4 for 7 from the three-point line. The Cavs once again ruled the inside, with Timofey Mozgov putting up 28 points and gathering 10 rebounds. But the Warriors faster pace more than offset what they lost down under.
Meanwhile, LeBron James appeared exhausted, particularly in the second half. He finished with only 20 points, about half of his series average. He gashed his head when he banged it into a camera on a drive in the second period, but he played normal minutes for the rest of the game. The cut did require stitches.
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