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Stakes are high for Warriors and Cavaliers in Game 4

Stephen Curry

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) watches as a referee checks a replay during the second half of Game 3 of basketball’s NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. The Cavaliers defeated the Warriors 96-91. AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

AP

Teams in the Cavaliers’ position – starting a best-of-seven series on the road and then leading 2-1 – have won 64% percent of the time.

That’s a nice edge for Cleveland, but hardly an overwhelming one.

But after tonight’s Game 4, one team – whether it’s the Cavaliers or Warriors – will have an even stronger advantage based on those historic trends.

For simplicity, we’ll consider the team that begins a series with home-court advantage the favorite and the team that begins the series on the road the underdog.

Either underdog Cleveland will go up 3-1 or favored Golden State will tie it 2-2. Here’s how often teams in those situations have won the series:


  • Underdog up 3-1: 91% (69-7)
  • Favorite tied 2-2: 79% (145-38)

The Warriors are favored to win Game 4. Many people expect that happen, looking forward to a pivotal Game 5 with the series tied 2-2. Don’t.

There’s already a ton on the line tonight.