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Cavs remind us why it's risky business to count them out early

Cavs remind us why it's risky business to count them out early
Published On: Sat, Jun 10
Oct 8, 2015; Ontario, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) before the game against the Toronto Raptors at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

That was long past due.

For a game, at least, the Cleveland Cavaliers channeled all the rage, frustration, pride and hope of a defending champion utterly on the ropes -- and unleashed one of the most stunning counterpunches in NBA history.

They logged 86 points in the first half, a Finals record. They made a ridiculous 24 of 45 three-point shots. They out-Warriored the Warriors, moving the ball and getting help and great play from an array of players while riding a duo of superstars that commanded nearly every moment of a 137-116 beatdown against a very, very worthy challenger.

Through it all, the Cavaliers were propelled by a strutting self-regard absent in the first three games of the Finals. At long last they looked, played and -- most important -- acted like defending champions.

And coded within it all was another reminder of the utter greatness of LeBron James. And the task and opportunity -- does Cleveland being down 3-1 heading back to Golden State sound familiar, anyone? -- before him.

LeBron's 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists set two records: The most triple-doubles in Finals history, passing Magic Johnson, and the most points in Finals history, passing Michael Jordan.

There was a fury to the Cavaliers from the very beginning of Game 4 of the NBA Finals, one long overdue, a where-the-hell-has-this-been attack mentality that knocked a lackadaisical Warriors team off balance. And unlike Game 3, they never recovered.

Kyrie Irving was spectacular, dropping 40 points in blur after blur. Kevin Love scored 23. Tristan Thompson finally found his game, and his toughness, pulling down 10 rebounds and playing 36 dogged minutes that were a large part of his team's sudden toughness and aggression. J.R. Smith made five of his nine three pointers. Even the bench contributed 23 points.

Cleveland also found, finally, a way to befuddle the Warriors and at least temporally put a halt to Golden State's rampage through the postseason. Stephen Curry played badly -- 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting and 2-of-9 three-point shooting, routinely disappearing into the roar of Quicken Loans Arena.

Read the complete news article here...


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Name Pos
Kyrie Irving PG
Dahntay Jones SG
Timofey Mozgov C
Mo Williams PG
Channing Frye PF
LeBron James SF
Anderson Varejao PF
J.R. Smith SG
James Jones SG
Richard Jefferson SF
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