Warriors

Instant Replay: Cavs win feisty Game 4, end Warriors undefeated run

Instant Replay: Cavs win feisty Game 4, end Warriors undefeated run

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND -- There will be no sweep of these NBA Finals and no perfect postseason for the Warriors.

Trailing from the opening seconds, they were clobbered 137-116 Friday night by the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Kevin Durant scored 35 points to lead the Warriors’ offensive attack. Draymond Green finished with 16 points, Stephen Curry totaled 14, Klay Thompson 13, and Shaun Livingston added 10 off the bench.

Cleveland became the first team this postseason to shoot 50 percent, making 52.9 percent of its shots from the field. The Cavs also shut down the Warriors transition game, allowing only 7 fast-break points when they averaged 33 through the first three games.

Kyrie Irving poured in 40 points to lead the Cavs, while LeBron James posted his second triple-double of The Finals, with 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Cleveland made a Finals record 24 3-pointers.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
On a night when no one draped himself in glory, only Andre Iguodala finished in the plus column.

Iguodala’s line: 4 points (2-of-4 shooting from the field, 0-of-2 from the line), four assists, two blocks and one rebound. He played 21 minutes and was plus-10.

TURNING POINT:
The Warriors trailed from the outset, falling behind 16-5 in less than three minutes and getting no closer than 11 in the second quarter as the Cavaliers set an NBA Finals record with 86 first-half points.

The Warriors got no closer than 11 points after halftime.

INJURY REPORT:
Warriors: No injuries listed. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney were placed on the inactive list.

Cavaliers: C Edy Tavares (R hand fracture) was listed as out. G Kay Felder and Tavares were placed on the inactive list.

WHAT’S NEXT:
Game 5 is scheduled for Monday at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is set for 6:05 p.m. Pacific.

Jonas Jerebko's importance to Warriors explained with one statistic

jerebkoklay.jpg
AP

Jonas Jerebko's importance to Warriors explained with one statistic

Editor’s note: Grant Liffmann and Drew Shiller are the co-hosts of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, they will drop their Outside Observations on the state of the Dubs, and this time, it’s Grant’s turn.

Jonas Jerebko has been a valuable weapon off the Warriors’ bench this season -- and more than you probably realize.

The team greatly benefits from the 6-foot-10 forward’s ability to stretch the floor, his vastly underrated tenacity when rebounding, his desire to make the right, efficient pass, and his overall energy and toughness on the court. But to simplify Jerebko's contribution is to examine how the Warriors fare in relation to his scoring totals.

When Jerebko scores 10-plus points in a game, the Warriors are 9-1. The one loss they endured came in the Nov. 29 game in Toronto, when Jerebko helped Kevin Durant lead a valiant comeback that eventually ended in an overtime defeat. When Jerebko scores five points or fewer in a game, the Warriors are 5-7.

It has been well-chronicled that the Warriors’ bench lacks a clear scoring role player, so it helps when Jerebko steps up and hits shots.

Having Jerebko open lanes for the Warriors' stars also is crucial to the team's success. The Warriors are 10-1 when Jerebko makes two or more 3-pointers in a game, and Jerebko is +116 in point differential when on the court in those games.

Last season, the Warriors were desperate for shooting from deep off their bench, turning to the likes of Nick Young and Omri Casspi, but the duo never found consistency, and the team suffered from a lack of spacing in the second unit. Jerebko has shored up those issues so far this season, and the Warriors' record reflects it.

'Zo cleaning the glass

Alfonzo McKinnie also is making his presence felt, especially on the glass. When McKinnie pulls down two or more offensive rebounds in a game, the Warriors are 7-1.

Kevon Looney is the Warriors’ best offensive rebounder, but McKinnie also has proven to be valuable contributor in that category. He has a nose for the ball, and doesn’t let a play die once a shot goes up.

McKinnie plays like a guy who’s fighting for playing time every time he steps on the court, and that has helped him become a key member of the bench.

Klay’s 3-point success tied to team success

Many times, it feels like the Warriors really hit their stride when Klay Thompson is firing and hitting from deep, and the numbers support that. When Klay shoots 40 percent or better in a game, the Warriors are 11-1.

That’s no coincidence.

Klay has been uncharacteristically inconsistent from long range this season, leading him to take more contested mid-range shots. When Steph Curry is out, opponents focus on limiting Klay from shooting 3-pointers. But when Curry is playing, of course, the defense shifts the focus to stopping him, leaving Klay with the ability to sink daggers from deep.

If he makes them, the Warriors usually win. Simple as that.

Follow Grant on Twitter @GrantLiffmann for his observations throughout the Warriors’ season

David West explains how Steph Curry is the 'head honcho' of Warriors

durantwestdavidhighfive.jpg
USATSI

David West explains how Steph Curry is the 'head honcho' of Warriors

Programming note: Watch tonight's Warriors-Kings game streaming live at 7 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.

Who is the unquestioned leader of the Warriors? Is it Steph Curry or Draymond Green or Andre Iguodala or Steve Kerr? 

"These guys lead by committee," David West explained on 95.7 The Game. "It's always been a group effort. There's never been one guy ... there was no singular leader. I don't think you can have a singular leader in terms of a basketball team. You got guys who lead in different ways. 

"They're not any different in terms of how other teams work."

[RELATEDDavid West believes Kevin Durant will play for Warriors next season]

But don't get it twisted. West made it very clear who the Warriors look to for guidance and leadership and perspective.

"Steph is still the head honcho in terms of the direction of the group, and the group goes as he goes," the two-time NBA champion said. "And he knows to manage that group in that locker room.

"People don't realize, when he gets hurt and he's not in the lineup, it changes everything. When he's in the lineup and he's in the locker room healthy, he knows how to manage. Now he's not somebody that's gonna be demonstrative and be blowing up and cussing people out.

"But he's gonna be making sure he's communicating with everybody and he's gonna get the team motivated to play and be ready to go."

The Warriors didn't seem too motivated and weren't ready to go on Wednesday night vs the Raptors, so is West calling out Curry? (that's clearly a joke, people)

Curry had his worst game of the season vs Toronto -- 10 points (3-for-12 FG), 3 assists and 4 turnovers -- and hasn't fared too well against the Kings in his career:
-20.8 points per game (tied for 4th fewest vs any team)
-45.4 percent from the field (5th worst vs any team)

But knowing him, he will bounce back and score 67 points tonight...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller