"It's The Finals", Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving said. In the postseason, Golden State has outscored its opponents by 227 points when Green has been on the court, giving him the second-best plus/minus on the team, behind Stephen Curry (plus 267).
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 09: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers speaks to an official after Iman Shumpert #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers compete for the ball with Zaza Pachulia #27 of the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio.
But it's the one they had to have, and a series that wasn't living up to its hype and seemed headed for a quick conclusion is California bound for Game 5 on Monday night. "It necessarily wasn't the right decision, and you have so many other options you start replaying that play over and over". "I've been working on that shot my whole life". I just didn't give it enough.
"He's earned it. He's been in this league for a long time, and he's, I think, at the top of his game at the biggest time". "I gave everything that I had, so at times throughout the game I was exhausted, but that's just because I was playing as hard as I could. So mentally and physically, I got to prepare myself for that". "We haven't. They're still champions, and we got to go take it". They're already talented enough that they make mistakes and still win.
Despite what feels like their inevitable demise at the hands of the Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors, it isn't easy for me to chalk up the future as pointless. "'Stay in front of them. You can sense that", said James. Sure, those Lakers were a tremendous team, with Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and a host of outstanding role players such as Byron Scott, A.C. Green and Michael Cooper - not to mention Riley. The four-times MVP laid on the floor several seconds before being helped up.More news: Netflix Joins Net Neutrality Day of Action
"I don't want to relax", Durant said. "I didn't have 101, but you get the gist".
"So I never understand when people try to compare eras and say, "Oh, this team could have beat this team" or 'They couldn't have beat that team'".
James then recreated everything he saw on the play and said, "I would do the same exact thing". Kevin Durant led the way on offense again with 31 points, bringing his NBA Finals average to 34 points per game. "It's just big-time play, big-time plays after big-time plays that he was making".
The same would apply to Kyrie Irving, who played 44:23 and put up 38 points along with six rebounds and three assists. The Warriors went 10-for-19 (.526), including 3-for-8 from deep (.375).
In 2016, Cleveland took game three at home, lost game four and then won the final three - game seven in Oakland - to capture the city's first sports championship since 1964. As a team, the Cavs shot 44 percent from the field and 12 of 44 from the three-point line, but they were held scoreless in the final three minutes of the game and that was the difference.