The Warriors thrive with a frantic basketball pace. LeBron James and the Cavaliers are well aware of that, and their methodical, 1990s-style isolation game is currently winning out.
James and the Cavs will look to go up 3-1 in the best-of-seven NBA Finals Thursday (9 p.m., ABC) in Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena.
Golden State scored over 100 points in 11 of its first 16 games this postseason, including its Game 1 Finals win over the Cavs. But in the last two games, both losses, the Warriors have failed to break the Century mark, losing by scores of 95-93 (OT) and 96-91.
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The Warriors are certainly capable of breaking out of this funk, however. They had a remarkably similar first three games against the Grizzlies in the semi-finals just a few weeks back. Against Memphis, they won Game 1, 101-86, but lost Games 2 and 3 by scores of 97-90 and 99-89. Stephen Curry was mortal in those first three games, like he has been in the Finals thus far, as he averaged 21.3 points per game.
But it was Game 4 in which Curry and the Warriors awoke from their daze. Not only did they break 100, they held Memphis to just 84 points. Curry scored 33 on 11-of-22 shooting.
Curry is obviously known for his shooting exploits from deep, but it’s also important that he get to the free-throw line in Game 4. He did not shoot a foul shot in the Game 3 loss to the Cavs, just the second time this postseason that that has happened.
Curry’s success obviously drives Golden State. But he can’t be the only one who steps up if the Warriors have plans of evening things up. All five Golden State starters were in the “minus” category of plus/minus in Game 3, with Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green both owning an atrocious minus-14 mark.
David Lee, Leandro Barbosa and Andre Iguodala were the only players who had positive performances for the Warriors on Tuesday.