NBA Betting: Warriors Unleash Iguodala, Even NBA Finals
Finally, the Golden State Warriors have solved the Cleveland Cavaliers – at least for one day. The Warriors added Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup Thursday night in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, and Iguodala starred at both ends of the court as Golden State prevailed 103-82, cashing in as a 3.5-point road chalk (–120) on the closing line. The under paid out at –105 on the posted total of 195 points, up from 193 at the open, to improve to 3-1 in this series and 14-4-1 for Golden State in these playoffs.
Iguodala was brought in as a third perimeter player, with Andrew Bogut going to the bench and Draymond Green starting at center in a smallball lineup for the Warriors. Not only did Iguodala play suffocating defense on LeBron James, but he also outscored James 22-20 on the night. This series is now tied 2-2 with Game 5 coming up Sunday night (8:00 PM ET, ABC) in Oakland.
A Small Victory
The Warriors also brought in David Lee off the bench after he played well in Game 3, and Lee responded with nine points, five rebounds and three assists in 15 minutes. By the time it was all over, Bogut had played only three minutes for Golden State. The smallball approach helped space the floor for Stephen Curry, who matched Iguodala with 22 points and shot 4-of-7 from downtown.
While Golden State’s offense was in full flight, the Cavaliers were stuck on the ground. James needed 22 shot attempts to score his 20 points, and at one point was struck in the head after he fell into a photographer following a hard (but “clean”) foul. Meanwhile, there was little support from his backcourt teammates this time; Matthew Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert, JR Smith and James Jones combined for 19 points.
Cleveland fans were at least relieved to see James come right back into the game after sustaining that ugly cut on his head. Stitches weren’t required, nor did James need to go through concussion protocol – they simply applied some “glue” to the cut, and James returned to shoot his free throws. He should be fine for Game 5, once the headache goes away.
Thankfully for James and the rest of the Cavs, they have two days off to recover for Sunday’s game. And since the Cavaliers were down by 19 points late in the fourth quarter, they were able to pull their starters and give garbage time to Mike Miller, Kendrick Perkins and Joe Harris. Every ounce of saved energy counts with the title on the line.
It’s obvious that the Cavaliers are running out of steam. Dellavedova in particular was stuck in low gear after spending the night in hospital recovering from dehydration; the emerging fan-favorite briefly left Thursday’s game with cramping issues in his legs, and shot just 3-of-14 in his 33 minutes of work. James added another 41 minutes of wear to his tires, as well. How much more do they have to give?
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