The 2018 NBA Finals continue on Friday night in The Land as the Cavaliers and Warriors battle it out in Game 4. Tipoff from The Q is at 9:00 p.m. (ET).
After dropping Game 3, 110-102, the Wine & Gold may be in a 3-0 hole, but they have played exceptionally well in elimination games, winning seven of their last nine dating back to 2015. This year, they are 3-0 in those situations.
The Cavs also tend to do well in Game 4s, where they’re 28-13 all-time and 12-3 since the 2015 Playoffs. Dating back to last postseason, the club has won seven-straight Game 4s.
Looking back to Game 3, there are a number of things the Cavs did well that they can carry over into Game 4 on Friday night.
For instance, the Cavs continue to outplay Golden State on the glass. The Cavs have outrebounded the Warriors by an average of 8.6 rebounds (47.3-38.7) so far in this series. Cleveland is also averaging 16.7 offensive boards and 19.7 second chance points. In Game 3, the Wine & Gold had a 47-37 advantage on the glass and posted 15 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second chance points. This postseason, the Cavs have outrebounded foes by at least 10 boards on five occasions (all coming in the last eight games).
Cleveland will also get the chance to, once again, play in front of their home crowd, which supported the Wine & Gold through all four quarters on Wednesday. So far this postseason, the Cavs are 8-2 when playing in The Land.
From an individual perspective, there are three players (LeBron James, Kevin Love and Rodney Hood) who will look to carry over their solid performances on Wednesday night heading into Game 4.
On Wednesday, LeBron notched his NBA-leading fourth triple-double this postseason (23rd of playoff career) with a team-high 33 points, a game-high 11 assists, 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 47 minutes. It was James’ 10th triple-double in an NBA Finals game, which is the most all-time (Magic Johnson is second with eight). James (110 30-pt games) also passed Michael Jordan (109 30-pt games) for the most 30-point performances ever recorded in NBA postseason history.
Kevin Love has recorded at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in all three games this series, averaging 21.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in 35.0 minutes. He is also shooting perfect from the foul line (12-12) and has extended his streak to 31 consecutive made free throws going back to the first quarter of Game 4 against Toronto on May 7. In five games against the Warriors this season (regular and post), Love is averaging 22.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and a .958 (23-24) clip from the charity stripe in 33.4 minutes.
During Game 3, Rodney Hood had his highest scoring game of the 2018 Playoffs, tallying 15 points on 7-11 (.636) shooting from the field and two blocks in 26 minutes as a reserve. Hood has now logged three double-digit scoring efforts this postseason.
At the other end of the court, the Warriors would like to see another exceptional performance from Kevin Durant, who had a postseason-high 43 points and 13 rebounds in 43 minutes on Wednesday. Durant carried Golden State, especially from behind-the-arc, hitting 6-of-9 deep balls.
The rest of the Warriors starters all posted double figure points while Jordan Bell knocked down 10 points off the bench.
Where to Catch the Action
FOX Sports Ohio: Before and after all Cavs playoffs games, FOX Sports Ohio will provide pre- and postgame coverage hosted by Jeff Phelps and Campy Russell that will include reporting and analysis from Fred McLeod, Austin Carr and Allie Clifton, with guest appearances from former Cavs coach Mike Fratello.
Radio: WTAM 1100, 87.7 La Mega
As Quicken Loans Arena starts to get dressed for Game 4, fans can burn some time by checking out these interesting facts, stats and milestones.
From a league perspective, LeBron James (231 BLK) is just three blocks away from passing Pau Gasol (233 BLK) for the 14th-most swats in league playoff history. With one more 40-point outing, James will hold the NBA record for most 40-point performances in a single postseason (currently tied with Jerry West, who had eight such games in 1965).
Also, JR Smith (285 3FGM) is just a single triple shy of moving past Derek Fisher (285 3FGM) for sole possession of eighth place in career playoff three-pointers.
From a franchise perspective, Kevin Love (309 FGM) needs five field goals to pass Zydrunas Ilgauskas (313 FGM) for third place on the Cavaliers all-time playoff field goals made list, while JR Smith (277 FGM) is four baskets away from passing Mark Price (280 FGM) for sixth place on that list.
If the Cavaliers win on Friday in Cleveland, then they’ll return to The Bay on Monday, June 11 to take on the Warriors for Game 5 at 9:00 p.m. (ET) on ABC. Game 6, if necessary, will be on Thursday, June 14 in Cleveland, and Game 7 will take place back in Oakland on Sunday, June 17.