CLEVELAND -- They’ve won every game during these playoffs, 15 in a row. They’ve won 30 of their last 31 overall, and the only loss was sacrificed to rest an All-Star.
And now the Warriors will try to close out this postseason by taking Game 4 of the NBA Finals Friday night and sweeping the Cavaliers into the offseason.
The Warriors are in line to become the first team in American team sports to roll through four playoff opponents, sweeping them all.
The Cavaliers, victimized by a fourth-quarter comeback by the Warriors in Game 3 on Wednesday night, are trying to make the best of their last chance to make this a series instead of a rout.
Warriors by 6
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James: Both have been magnificent through the first three games, but Durant has made more critical plays; he’s outscoring James 31-11 in the fourth quarter. James was a key factor in Cleveland overcoming a 3-1 series deficit to the Warriors last June to take the championship and will try to no obstacle is too big. Will that be enough to make Game 4 competitive?
Warriors: No injuries listed.
Cavaliers: C Edy Tavares (R hand fracture) is listed as out.
ROAD TO THE FINALS
Warriors: Posted a 67-15 record in the regular season to earn the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. Swept Portland in four games in the first round, swept Utah in four in the Western Conference semifinals and swept San Antonio in four in the conference finals.
Cavs: Were 51-31 in the regular season to earn the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Swept Indiana in four games in the first round, swept Toronto in four in the conference semifinals, defeated Boston in five games in the conference finals.
Game 1: Warriors 113, Cavaliers 91
Game 2: Warriors 132, Cavaliers 113
Game 3: Warriors 118, Cavaliers 113.
The teams split two games in the regular season, the Cavs with a 109-108 victory on Christmas Day in Cleveland, the Warriors a 126-91 win on Jan. 16 in Oakland. The Warriors are 14-8 against the Cavs over the past three seasons, including 10-6 in the postseason.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
The opening minutes: The Warriors have terrorized opponents all three of their previous Game 4s this postseason, building double-digit leads halfway through the first quarter and coasting the rest of the way. That won’t change, though it should be harder against the Cavs and their home crowd. How will Cleveland respond to this early aggression?
Desperation factor: The thought of being swept at home sometimes leads to high emotion, which can lead to poor judgment and the possibility of tempers flaring. The Cavs will try to knock the Warriors off their game. How far will they go? Will the Warriors let them?
The paint game: The Warriors have neutralized Cavs center Tristan Thompson, rendering one of the league’s truly voracious rebounders irrelevant (11 rebounds in three games, never playing more than 23 minutes). It’s almost impossible for Cleveland to win if this continues.