Warriors 2nd Half Runs Dooms the Cavs

Two huge second half runs spearheaded by Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala erased a six-point halftime deficit and put the Golden State Warriors one win away from completing their historic season. The Cleveland Cavaliers were in control in the first half but then the Warriors in two different flurries in the third and fourth quarters put the game away.

The first run was ignited when after Kyrie Irving hitting a jumper after crossing over Curry so badly it sent him stumbling back. The Cavs had a five-point lead with 6:35 left in the third. The Warriors would start a 15-8 run to end the quarter and take a two-point lead into the fourth quarter.

The Cavs defense began breaking down and the Warriors took advantage. When Iguodala sets a pindown screen for Klay Thompson, the Cavs mix up their coverage and both defenders follow Thompson who rejected the screen. Iguodala simply back pedals into a game-tying three pointer that nearly ended up as an and-1 when JR Smith tries a last second closeout.

On the ensuing possession Irving attempts a baseline jumper that misses. Instead of running back on defense, he tries to grab the offensive rebounds. Harrison Barnes beats him to the ball and outlets it to Iguodala and the Warriors are off and running yet again. Iguodala to Thompson who finds Curry running to the three-point line and we all know how this story ends. The Warriors are on an 8-0 run at this point.

To cap off their third quarter run Iguodala takes advantage of Irving who is caught out of position and back cuts him. Draymond Green finds him for a run-capping dunk. The Cavs would score on their next two possessions to make this a 15-8 run instead of a 15-4 run. Either way the damage was done and it was an eight-point swing.

That third quarter run by the Warriors was not enough to put the Cavs away, they came out focused to start the fourth and took the lead with an emphatic tip dunk by LeBron James when Iguodala didn’t box him out. This is the last time the Cavs would have the lead in the game. Barnes hits a three to give the Warriors the lead for good. It’ll spark the next run, a 27-14 run that included this dagger from Curry when Channing Frye leaves him open for a three.

The Warriors are heading home a win away from winning back-to-back titles and completing a historic 73-win season. Going into game four Curry was killed by the media for not playing like a MVP. He responded with a 38 point, and 6 assists performance. It wasn’t just Curry who had a big game, Thompson had 25 points, Green had 12 rebounds, and Iguodala had 7 assists. The Cavs are on the brink of elimination at the hands of the Warriors again, in large part of defensive lapses in the second half that led to two huge runs.

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