Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) defends Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) diromg the first half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals in Cleveland, Friday, June 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cavs avoid sweep with 137-116 win in Game 4 of the NBA FinalsMore>>
(RNN) - The Cleveland Cavaliers avoided a sweep and denied the Golden State Warriors a perfect postseason with a 137-116 win in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals.
Game 5 will be Monday, June 12, as the Cavs aim to become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 0-3 deficit in the playoffs.
The Warriors will look to close the series out in five back home at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA.
Lebron James passed Magic Johnson with the most triple-doubles in NBA Finals history, posting his ninth Friday night.
James finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Kyrie Irving was the game’s leading scorer with 40 points and Kevin Love chipped in with 23 points for the Cavs.
Kevin Durant had 35 points, but no other Warrior had more than 20 points for the game. Steph Curry had 14, Klay Thompson had 13, and Draymond Green had 16 points for the Warriors.
The Cavs came out aggressive in a must-win game against the Warriors to stay alive.
The Cavs jumped off to a 19-6 lead in the first quarter before exploding for a Finals record quarter total of 49 points on Friday night.
The second quarter featured more of the same as Cleveland set a Finals record with 86 first-half points, shooting 61 percent from the field.
The home team was dominating on both ends of the court, forcing the Warriors into bad shots, and hustling for second chances on the offensive end.
Durant started helping the Warriors chip away at a Cavs lead, using two free throws to cut the lead to 31-25 with 3:19 left in the first quarter. At one point in the opening quarter, Durant accounted for 10 of Golden State’s points in a row.
Irving was on the mark on 10 of 12 shots from the field at one point in the opening period, and he finished the half with 28 points for the second-highest point total by a player in the last 20 NBA Finals.
The Warriors' 68 points were the most by a trailing team at halftime in the last 20 seasons.
The Cavs hit the 80-point mark with 1:33 left in the half.
The game got chippy in the third quarter as James and Durant received double technical fouls after a heated exchange of words.
Later in the quarter, confusion arose as Green seemingly received his second technical foul of the game that would have resulted in an automatic ejection. This technical however was given to Warriors coach Steve Kerr, and Green remained in the game.
The Cavaliers' lead fluctuated up and down in the third quarter but they held a double-digit advantage throughout the quarter, ending with a 115-96 lead going into the fourth.
Big shots and an incredible highlight play where James threw a pass off the backboard to himself and flushed a dunk, fueled their third quarter run.
The Cavs set an NBA Finals record for most three pointers made in a game, connecting on 20 of their 33 three-point attempts at the end of the third quarter.
The Warriors (67-15) are also hoping to redeem an NBA Finals collapse from last season, losing to the Cavaliers after building a 3-1 lead.
They currently lead the best-of-seven series 3-1. The Warriors previously swept Portland, Utah and San Antonio.
The series also serves as a rubber match for the teams. Golden State won the NBA title in 2015 in six games over the Cavs, and Cleveland won last year in seven games. It's the first time the same two teams have met in the Finals for three consecutive years.
During the playoffs, most of Golden State's wins have not been close. In the Finals, they won Game 1 by 22, Game 2 by 19 and Game 3 by five after coming from behind.
One reason for the Warriors' dominant playoff run was the acquisition of Durant in the offseason. Durant averaged 25 points a game during the regular season and has scored 38, 33 and 31 against Cleveland, leading the team each time.
If the Cavaliers can orchestrate another comeback they would become the first repeat champions since the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013.
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