Intensity grows Warriors on the brink, Cavs on edge

Officials huddle in Game 4

Officials huddle in Game 4

In last year's Finals these moments seemed to favor Cleveland, and they certainly did not favor Draymond Green.

Golden State left 21 points unanswered for, they were blown out.

They face an uphill climb in Oakland Monday, where the Warriors are 44-5 at home this season. Clearly, James is aware that any criticism of their team-building approach would come back with reactions about how he joined his two most recent teams with superstars around him. It's an encouraging one for the Cavaliers, trying to be the first team to rally from 3-0 down to win a playoff series.

It's risky, and not for the faint of heart.

LeBron James knows who his dream teammates would be in a 3-on-3 competition at the 2020 Olympics - Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.

James, too, understands. He's been on both sides the previous two years.

I've been doing this for 16 years. "But listen, at the end of the day we just got some resilient guys".

The Warriors know all-too well how quickly 3-1 finals leads can vanish.

It's been done on big stages in other sports, perhaps most famously by the 2004 Boston Red Sox, who strung together four wins over the New York Yankees to win the AL pennant on the way to their first World Series title since 1918.

Golden State will take its second shot at clinching the National Basketball Association championship Monday night.

Maybe these chaotic Cavs are just the team to do it. During 22 minutes of action off the bench, Jefferson had 8 points with 3 rebounds. "We have been in this situation before".

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said falling behind decisively early made it tough to free up shots for Curry. You can tweak some things, but are we going to play hard?

"One quarter, each possession being huge for us, because that can make or break a team". Cavs fans will either come around on Williams or long for the days that Matthew Dellavedova, first team All-Grit, was backing up Irving.

"Give credit to Kyrie [Irving] and [LeBron James], they played like the stars that they are". Now, they find themselves in the same position, a 3-1 lead, they were in previous year when they ultimately failed to close out the series.

When he signed with Golden State, Durant said he wanted to grow as a player and a person. However, he can't explain the defending champions' ability to bounce back. Remarkably the line began at seven points before changing to nine within minutes of the end of the game. "We have to be ready for it".

On Thursday, Green, whose suspension from last year's Game 5 for hitting James in the groin helped swing the series to Cleveland, said he was looking forward to celebrating on Cleveland's home floor for the second time in three years.

"Definitely I would play in it again if offered the opportunity", said Bria Hartley, who was part of the first title team in 2012, pairing with fellow WNBA players Chiney Ogwumike, Skylar Diggins and Ann Strother. That taste wouldn't have been the same if we would have lost tonight and they would have celebrated on our home floor. "That's just how I'm built".

The U.S. has been pushing 3-on-3 over the past few years and held a national tournament last month.

James, though, wouldn't concede the Cavs have the Warriors right where they want them.

"We didn't play up to the level we were supposed to, and they exposed that and took advantage of it and came out and played extremely well", Kevin Durant said.

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