'Jeopardy!' trolls Durant's decision to join Warriors with savage clue

Ruben Hill
June 13, 2017

Did the style of Game 4 of the NBA Finals - emotional, physical, intense - benefit the Cavaliers over the Warriors?

Seven technical fouls, one flagrant foul, stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant jawing at each other and several other dustups.

But while it is a ready-made plot - complete with an endless series of 3-1 jokes the Internet has reveled in since last year's Finals ended - the truth is that this year's Finals look and feel different, even if the two teams that will take the floor at Oracle Arena on Monday night are in the same position.

Golden State came out in the second quarter and flipped the script though, running up 38-23 throughout. Kevin Durant put up 35 points while Draymond Green had 16 points with 14 assists. You've gotta tip your hat to Cleveland, man. Everyone knew the Warriors were the favorites, but the "never count out LeBron James" mantra was repeated enough for most fans to convince themselves we would see a real series.

The Cavs were shaky early, but got back into it with their defense. They are up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series - again. By the final break, the lead was down to five. "I work hard, I believe in myself, I believe in the game, I respect the game, I love the game, and I knew at some point in my life that it will come around for me".

The Cavs look to carry that same mindset into Game 5, when they once again try to stave off elimination. A year ago they became the first team in National Basketball Association history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the championship.

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Whether it's extending a season with a pair of 40-point performances or hitting the series-deciding 3-pointer in a Game 7 win past year, Irving's already stellar game has risen to another level whenever the Cavs have faced elimination. On most Cavaliers possessions, James facilitates offense. They set NBA Finals records for points in a quarter (49 in the first), points in a half (86) and made three-pointers (24).

The rest of that historic first quarter featured a plethora of questionable foul calls which resulted in Cleveland shooting 11 free throws over a three-and-a-half minute stretch en route to attempting 22 total foul shot.

Perhaps one of the reasons the Warriors' site has been able to produce such high sales is because of security.

Everyone who played more than 10 minutes for the home team shot over 50% - even Tristan Thompson.

The support off the bench was the tipping point for the Cavaliers as they muscled up in the paint.

He was asked whether this might be the game the Warriors feel they must get. The Cavs made just 12 of their 44 three-pointers, including 3-for-18 on corner three-pointers and it took big shots from Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant at the end of Game 3 while the Cavs stumbled.

In the playoffs, Thompson is shooting just 40 percent, scoring 20 points in just four games.

Welcome back to "3 Shots" everyone as we monitor Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals. They kept us up all night. They must play smarter, in a similar frame to what they did in Game 1 and if need be, slow the pace of the game down. They added Durant, seeking his first National Basketball Association title after leaving Oklahoma City, but a loss would bring a game six Thursday in Cleveland and perhaps a winner-take-all Sunday showdown in Oakland.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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