Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Not Having A Finals MVP Is A Big Deal For Steph Curry

Kevin Durant Warriors LeBron James played NBA Finals with self-inflicted broken hand
Shannon Reynolds | 10 June, 2018, 00:55

Golden State completed the sweep - the ninth sweep in Finals history - against Cleveland with a 108-85 victory in Game 4 on Friday in what was possibly LeBron James' last game as a Cavalier.

The cause: He punched something after Game 1 of the finals, his frustration having obviously boiled way over when the Cleveland Cavaliers let the series opener against the Golden State Warriors get away amid late-game miscues and one overturned call that left him seething.

Curry had the hot hand from the jump, draining 7 treys on the night and finishing with a game-high 37 points. He finished his remarkable playoff run by scoring 23 points, pulling down seven rebounds and dishing off eight assists. Cleveland, on the other hand, suffered from a familiar malaise: James had a triple-double - 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds - but he didn't have almost enough help.

The Warriors defeated the Cavs in all of their championship runs.

James, most definitely, does not want to get swept in the NBA Finals for a second time.

Shaw has been a photographer for Getty Images for 20 years, charged with the hard task of taking a sport as kinetic as basketball and capturing it into still moment for both next-day recaps and basketball historians who will look back on the Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry for years to come.

The weight of expectations have hung over this team from the moment the Warriors added Kevin Durant to a team that won an NBA-record 73 games two years ago. That series, one where the Warriors led 3-1, changed when they couldn't finish the job while being presented with serious adversity.

It was Durant's 28th consecutive playoff game with 20 or more points. "Whether you live up to it or not, you've got to be OK with your effort and your intensity and whatnot and the result of the game", Curry said. "We're not going to give in". Smith's decision to dribble the ball out to the perimeter in the final seconds of regulation in Game 1 likely cost Cleveland that game.

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"Going into this season, I don't think anybody could have guessed or predicted the ups and downs and the roller coaster we've been on", Curry said Thursday as the Warriors prepped for the possible clincher. It was revealed after the loss that he played through a right hand contusion, which was a byproduct of punching a whiteboard following a heartbreaking Game 1.

Durant, LeBron James (2016) and Andre Iguodala (2015) are the three recipients of the honor in the past four years.

"When you make mistakes they make you pay", he said, "because they're already more talented than you are but they also have the minds behind it, too, and they also have the championship DNA".

A disappointed James is widely expected to leave the Cavaliers this summer, for the second time.

Warriors: Curry made a 3-pointer in his record 90th consecutive post-season game and extended his mark for 3s in road playoff games to 44.

Durant becomes the 11th player to win Finals MVP twice, joining six-time victor Michael Jordan, three-timers Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan and LeBron James, and two-timers Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Willis Reed and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Here's the information you need to watch tonight's Warriors vs Cavaliers Game 4 on TV or online including the start time.

Cleveland's task is now as daunting as it gets: No team in National Basketball Association history has overcome a 3-0 series deficit, though it's happened four times in the NHL and once in Major League Baseball.

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