CLEVELAND (AP) — The latest from Game 4 of the NBA Finals:
Andre Iguodala will get a lot of attention for battling LeBron James.
But that’s nothing new for the Warriors’ forward.
“We’ve been going against each other for a decade,” he told ABC’s Doris Burke after helping the Warriors rout the Cavaliers 1023-82 and even the NBA Finals at 2-2. “We’ve had some really good battles. He’s the best player in the world for a reason.
“He’s got a lot of talent and he’s very blessed. We’ve got a lot of blessed guys as well. this is a great opportunity for everybody to show what they can do on the court.”
Andre Iguodala scored 22 points in a surprise start, Stephen Curry also had 22, and the Golden State Warriors finally slowed LeBron James in beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-82 to tie the NBA Finals at 2-2.
James was scoreless in the fourth quarter as Golden State pulled away and finished with 20 points, less than half the 41 he had been averaging.
Draymond Green rebounded from his poor play with 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Warriors avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season. They will host Game 5 on Sunday night.
Timofey Mozgov finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds against the Warriors’ small lineup, but Matthew Dellavedova had just 10 on 3-of-14 shooting.
Andre Iguodala’s biggest role for Golden State has been defending LeBron James.
On Thursday, he was outscoring him. And, ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy said, even outplaying him.
James called it a night with 3:06 left after not scoring in the fourth quarter, leaving him with 20 points on 7-of-22 shooting. At that point, Iguodala had 22 points.
And with a 98-79, the Warriors would soon have an even series.
LeBron James had to rest at some point, and Golden State capitalized when he did.
The Warriors made the first two baskets of the fourth quarter while James was sitting, pushing their lead back into double digits after the Cavaliers had cut it to six after three.
With Andre Iguodala leading the way, Golden State later pushed its lead back up to 16 midway through the fourth as it moved within a few minutes of tying the series at 2-2.
With 10 points in the third quarter, LeBron James helped Cleveland cut Golden State’s lead to 76-70 entering the final period.
The Warriors led by 15 early in the quarter but Cleveland had it down to three before Stephen Curry made a 3-pointer for the last basket.
Golden State went to a small lineup for Game 4 and the Cavs are crushing them inside with a 39-29 rebounding advantage. Center Timofey Mozgov has 21 points and nine rebounds, James has 20 and nine, and Tristan Thompson is at 12 and 12.
The Cavs would be in great shape if they can pull it off. No team has blown a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
The short-handed Cavaliers are asking quite a lot from LeBron James and Matthew Dellavedova during the series, with each of them piling up the minutes.
Dellavedova spent time in the hospital after Game 3 due to the serious cramping and James has a history of cramping up as well.
In an effort to avoid those issues in Game 4, the Cavaliers dipped towels in ice buckets and laid them over the necks of James and Dellavedova during timeouts. Athletic trainers also used the towels while massaging James’ calves to try to keep them loose.
When LeBron James cut his head while tumbling into a courtside television camera, questions immediately came up about the NBA’s concussion protocol. The standards require players who suffer head injuries to be taken back to the locker room and evaluated to try to determine if he suffered a concussion.
But James remained in the game after getting the cuts tended to on the bench.
ABC anchor Sage Steele asked NBA Commissioner Adam Silver during halftime why James did not need to go to the back for further testing.
“If he stops bleeding he doesn’t have to come out of the game,” Silver said. “It seemed to be a surface cut, he seemed to be fine. He hit a free throw and stayed in the game.”
LeBron James took a bad tumble in the second quarter, cutting his head after crashing into photographers behind the baseline.
James was fouled by Andrew Bogut on a baseline drive and fell backward, with his head hitting a camera. He remained down for a couple of minutes before getting up holding a towel over his head to stop the bleeding coming from the cut in the back.
He made one of the two free throws.
Draymond Green is back. Just ask him.
Green has nine points on 3-for-5 shooting with three rebounds and three assists while playing his usual stellar defense.
His contributions in the frontcourt are essential for a team that decided to play small with Green at center and Andrew Bogut on the bench.
And he’s feeling it.
After Green hit a 3-pointer at the midpoint of the second quarter, he looked toward the sideline and yelled, “I’m back!”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s decision to switch his starting lineup with Andre Iguodala replacing Andrew Bogut is paying off.
“It was faster. We got the pace going and we got the floor spread,” Kerr told ABC’s Doris Burke. “But we gotta rebound. We know we’re at a disadvantage size-wise. We have to scrap.”
Surprisingly, the Warriors still held a 15-13 advantage on the glass more than two minutes into the second quarter.
“I like the level of aggression from everybody,” Kerr said. “We need to move the ball and we need to attack and get the pace going and keep it that way.”
That’s two straight 30-plus point quarters for the Warriors after they were struggling to crack 20.
Golden State leads 31-24 after closing the period with a 14-4 spurt. Andre Iguolada, a late addition to the starting lineup, provided nine points.
The Warriors had been shut down for most of two games before scoring 36 in the fourth quarter of their Game 3 loss. After leading the NBA in scoring with 110 points per game in the regular season, they are averaging just 97.3 in this series.
LeBron James has five points and like a lot of Cleveland’s fans, was visibly upset by a couple calls that went against the Cavs.
LeBron James had a simple message for his teammates before their biggest game yet.
Stay desperate,” ABC’s cameras showed James telling his team in the huddle before taking the court. “Every game for us is a Game 7. We have zero room for error.”
Most of the rest of these Cavaliers have never been on a stage this big. So before he finished his message, he made sure to drive his point home.
“We have zero room for error,” he said, pounding his fist into his hand.
Then the Cavs jumped out to an early lead, prompting Steve Kerr to tell his team to just “weather the storm.”
Steve Kerr changed his mind — and his starting lineup.
Shortly after saying the Golden State Warriors would stick with their same starting five, the Warriors decided to insert Andre Iguodala as a forward, move Draymond Green to center and put Andrew Bogut on the bench.
Bogut has struggled, but Kerr had said before the game they planned to start the same way, and even that reserve forward David Lee could play alongside Bogut.
Iguodala has been their best defensive option against LeBron James.
WWE in the house!
With the Warriors on the ropes, WWE stars The Miz and Dolph Ziggler were hanging out courtside before Game 4, taking pictures with fans before posing for more at halfcourt and filming promo spots in the hallways for wrestling federation’s live TV show, Raw.
Both are from the Cleveland area.
The Miz, who was wearing a No. 40 wine Cleveland jersey that read “Must-See” on the back, was born in nearby suburb Parma and attended Normandy High School; Ziggler attended St. Edward High School in Lakewood and wrestled collegiately at Kent State University.
Wrestling veteran Ric Flair was roaming the hallways as well, taking pictures with Kevin Love.
J.R. Smith made quite the entrance into Quicken Loans Arena.
Just as Warriors coach Steve Kerr was finishing an interview outside Golden State’s locker room, Smith zoomed by riding a Hovertrax, a hands-free motorized vehicle.
“Hey, what’s up?” Smith said as he rolled by on the carpet.
Smith nearly became the Cavs’ most recent injury when he briefly lost his balance and lunged forward, catching himself before he fell.
He got right back on, though, and continued his journey to Cleveland’s locker room.
AP Sports Writer Tom Withers and AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski contributed to this report.
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