As last night's contest got increasingly chippy, the referees called more and more fouls, and even doled out seven technical fouls, as well as one flagrant foul on Kevin Love. After calling out the refs for losing control of the game, Mary retweeted someone who said Game 4 was “absolutely rigged for money.”
I've lost all respect sorry this is absolutely rigged for money… Or ratings im not sure which. I won't be silent . Just saw it live sry.
An interesting claim for Mary to co-sign considering Steph Curry's wife Ayesha took that same stance last year. While Draymond's mom may believe that the refs were determined to do all they could make the series go back to Golden State, the Warriors were the ones who held the slight edge in free attempts, 36-31. The refs also made a last-minute correction after Green was slapped with what was believed to be a second technical foul.
Either way, Mary isn't too upset about the Cavaliers coming away with the Game 4 win.
CLEVELAND — It started off with a crazy 49-point first quarter from the Cavs, who finished with an even crazier 86 points at halftime. That was topped by the craziest third quarter the NBA Finals has ever seen when a series worth of soap opera like drama was squeezed into 12 minutes.
Game 4 of the NBA Finals was wild, ridiculous, and absurd. We saw Cleveland go bonkers on offense in the first half, the refs call 51 fouls, the seemingly random rescinding of a technical on Draymond Green, and some extracurricular activities from superstars and role players alike that will be dissected for the next two days. When it was all said and done, the Cavs were 137-116 winners and extended the series at least one more game with a physical effort we hadn’t seen through the series' first three contests.
“We took it to them first and that was very telling for the rest of the game,” Kevin Love said.
So here we are again. The Warriors are up 3-1 and headed back to the West Coast. And while we can draw as many parallels as we want to last year’s historic NBA Finals, the Cavs extending the series only feels like we’re delaying the inevitable this time around.
But before we get to that, Cleveland should be commended for preventing the Warriors from becoming the only team in NBA history to go 16-0 in the postseason. Their chance to do that was pretty much over early Friday as the Cavs blitzed Golden State for an NBA Finals record 49 points in the first quarter and an NBA Playoffs record 86 points after two. And they kept shooting lights out the rest of the way. Cleveland finished shooting 52.9 percent from the field and made an NBA Finals record 24 3-pointers. Through the first three games of the series, Cleveland had only made 31 threes.
Quicken Loans Arena was rocking as the Cavs treated their fans to a rollicking performance led by Kyrie Irving’s 40 points. LeBron James recorded his 9th NBA Finals triple-double, surpassing Magic Johnson for the all-time mark, going for 31, 11, and 10 while Love added 23 and J.R, Smith contributed 15.
“We played a desperate team at home and they came out and handed it to us. Simple as that.”
It was a feel good night for the Cavs and their fans, for sure. The crowd was hyped from the start and the Cavs, who were ripe to be blown out following Game 3’s devastating loss, fed off their energy. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said there was no special pregame speech. He liked his squad’s attitude during the morning’s shootaround. “Guys were upbeat. No hanging heads,” he said. Maybe the Warriors were too caught up in chasing history?
“I don’t think there was any thoughts or concerns about history,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We played a desperate team at home and they came out and handed it to us. Simple as that.”
This one will be remembered for the truly bizarre third quarter. We had LeBron’s self-pass off the backboard for a dunk that will go down as one of the Finals’ most memorable plays. Later on, the King and Kevin Durant were jawing at each other and drew duel techs. “We weren't coming to blows, we were just talking,” Durant said. A little over a minute after that, Green was tossed for earning a second technical before he wasn’t. The refs ended up giving it to Steve Kerr instead. Finally, we saw Groingate v. 2017 when it looked like Zaza Pachulia took a swipe at Iman Shumpert’s sensitive area during a scrum for a loose ball.
NBA conspiracy theory junkies will have a field day dissecting that and all the fouls called by the refs in Cleveland's favor, especially in the first quarter. With the Finals enjoying some of their highest ratings in years, we all know the league really wants it to extend as long as possible and early on the zebras seemingly did their part. The Cavs went to the free throw line 22 times in the first 12 minutes. Somewhere in the bowels of Quicken Loans Arena, or back in New York—wherever he was—it was like commissioner Adam Silver was pulling all the right strings to at least extend the Finals to five games.
But does this really change anything? Has momentum swung back in the Cavs favor? The Cavs deserve credit for not rolling over and letting the Warriors celebrate a title on their floor. They were gritty, gutty, and grimy, playing physical for the first time all series and roughing up the Warriors. But let’s be real here: the Warriors were their own worst enemy in Game 4. Featuring a ton of isolation and practically none of their signature run and gun offense or precision ball movement, the second half saw the Warriors brick a ton threes and settle for low percentage long twos. Golden State finished shooting 28.2 percent from beyond the arc, well below their 39.6 percent average this postseason. Yes, the Cavs are the second best team in the league and getting one of the Warriors shouldn’t come as a surprise. But the Dubs were due for a dud.
“It was one of those nights where we didn’t have anything clicking,” Steph Curry said
The “Cavs in 7’ chant that broke near the end of the game was cute, an ode to the tweet JR Smith claims he didn’t send out following Game 3. But the chances the Cavs faithful see their team play again in person are slim to none. The Warriors were garbage in Game 4, a hot mess on offense, and now they’re headed home where they have lost just once in their last 16 games. They’ve been the superior team three out of four games. They were the superior team during the regular season and during their run to the Finals. They have a potential championship clinching Game 5 Monday in Oracle Arena where they trounced Cleveland in the first two games of the series and once back in January. Draymond won't be suspended for Game 5 like last year. And most importantly they still have more firepower and more superstars than the Cavs, starting with the biggest difference maker, KD.
CLEVELAND — In the middle of his answer, Kyrie Irving sighed, still shivering from a post-game trip to the cold tub. What else could he do when he was asked why the Cavs blew their chance to make the NBA Finals an actual series?
Because for a few fleeting moments it looked like we had one. After two blowouts in Oakland, the Cavs and the Warriors treated basketball fans to a Game 3 that was a riveting, dramatic, and one the Cavs and their fans are going to lose a lot of sleep analyzing how they gave it away.
The Cavs should have won Wednesday after they got another big effort from LeBron James and Irving finally arrived on the big stage with a magical performance. Quicken Loans Arena was popping. The Cleveland faithful had watched their two superstars ball out to the tune of 77 combined points and looked like they were on the verge of earning a hard fought victory over the supremely talented Warriors.
But the Cavs couldn’t execute offensively over the final few minutes, had mental lapses on defense, and watched the biggest difference maker in the series knock down a stone cold three to give the Warriors a one-point lead with 12.9 seconds to go. So instead of walking off winners and feeling like the NBA Finals was finally a competitive series, the defending NBA champions sulked off the court shell shocked, 118-113 losers, and now will have to play their hearts out just to prevent the Warriors from celebrating an NBA championship on their home floor Friday.
“It definitely hurts. I'm human, as well as my teammates, and to lay it all on the line like that, you want to come out on the winning side,” said Irving. “But we gave a great effort, and the result just didn't turn out the way we wanted to.”
Now Game 4 is setting up to be a coronation for the greatest team in NBA postseason history. The Warriors improved to 15-0 in the playoffs because they had enough firepower to overcome James's 39 points and Irving's 38 and because the biggest difference maker of the series, Kevin Durant, hit that game-changing three that was a dagger through the hearts of the Cavs.
“I just tried to stay disciplined in my shot, hold my follow through, and it went in,” Durant said. “But more importantly we got two stops after that.”
It didn’t have to be this way, of course. But the reasons the NBA Finals are basically over are obvious. The Cavaliers’ execution down the stretch was atrocious. James bore a heavy burden of the blame for not driving to the basket down the stretch despite the Cavs scoring 46 points in the paint. He too often deferred to teammates who hoisted bad shots or even crappier threes. Cleveland didn't score a point over the final 3:09. For the second straight game, the Cavs shot 27 percent from three. Overall, the Cleveland shot 44.4 percent from the field.
“I gave everything I had tonight. So win, lose, or draw, you live with the results,” James said. “Like I said, they played a really good game as well, but they made shots, they made shot down the stretch. They got stops, which they have been doing. We shot in the low 40s again. They got stops and then they made play after play down the stretch.”
Durant finished with 31 points and had 14 in the fourth quarter to lead the comeback. Klay Thompson was the unsung hero for the Warriors going for 30 on 11-of-18 shooting including 6-of-11 from three. Steph Curry added 26 and was the Warriors leading rebounder with 13.”
While the Warriors swear a perfect postseason has never been on their mind during this run, they changed their tune after Game 3.
“It is now because we took care of tonight,” Curry said. “It's not in terms of like 16-0 really just of what that means historically, it's just that's what's in front of us. We obviously know how hard it is to win a championship, what all goes into it and how important each game is. And now that you can look ahead to Friday, all our focus is on that. And just we obviously—we want 16 wins; it doesn't matter how we get there.”
The off-season appears imminent for the Cavs, which is shocking because when your two best players play that well, you shouldn't lose games. You should extend series. Except when you're playing the greatest team in NBA postseason history.
Let's get the obvious out of the way: there was a basketball game on Thursday night. It was Game 1 of the NBA finals. Some shots were taken, people ran up and down the court and stuff, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 113-91.
But to many people who watched (and announced, and played in) the game, the real star wasn't LeBron or Steph Curry, but rather Rihanna. The pop star was in the audience for Game 1, and was not shy about letting it be known who she was rooting for—and against.
From courtside, she apparently heckled KD during a free throw.
Little kids are notorious for being front-runners. They're susceptible to whatever new trend is running through their elementary school, and they tend to cling to pro athletes who are wildly successful, even if they happen to play for a rival team.
One kid took that to the extreme during Cleveland's Game 4 win against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. With the in-arena crew looking for energetic Cavs fans to show on the Jumbotron, a young Warriors fan in hiding saw his moment to pounce.
I've heard of the idea of having a team in the opposing conference you root for, but come on little dude. Even for a kid, cheering for two teams that are about to face off in the Finals for a third straight time is weak. He can definitely take solace in his troll game, though—look at how mad the mom in the corner is after the Steph Curry jersey is revealed:
Once Twitter became aware of the young troll, they slandered the poor little guy to Oakland and back.
As a sports fan, you have only a few defining choices to make in your life. You can be like most of us and stick with your local favorites through thick and thin, which ends in soul-crushing disappointment more often than not. Alternatively, you can be like this kid, who will probably grow up to be the guy who won't stop telling you about how the Yankees have won 27 championships, despite most of those titles being won long before he was born.
The child in question seems like he's having the time of his life, so maybe the front-running fans have this right after all. When one of his teams wins the title in a few weeks, I'm sure he won't care what a bunch of bitter people on Twitter had to say about his life choices.
Whether or not Zaza Pachulia intentionally tried to hurt Kawhi Leonard, his questionable closeout was a topic of hot debate after Game 1 of the Spurs vs. Warriors series. But there is no debate in Coach Gregg Popovich's mind, and he went off on Golden State's center during Monday's mid-day gathering with the media.
Popovich called the play “dangerous” and “unsportsmanlike” in an amazing rant that lasted over 90 seconds. You can catch most of it in the video above, and the full transcript of his remarks on Pachulia below:
The two step, lead with your foot closeout is not appropriate. It's dangerous, it's unsportsmanlike, it's just not what anybody does to anybody else.
This particular individual has a history with that kind of action. You can look back at Dallas games where he got a flagrant 2 for elbowing Patty Mills. The play where he took Kawhi down and locked his arm in Dallas, could have broken his arm. Ask David West, his current teammate, how things went, when Zaza was playing for Dallas and he and David got into it. And then think about the history he's had and what that means to a team, what happened last night. A totally unnatural closeout that the league has outlawed years ago, and pays great attention to, and Kawhi's not there. And you want to know how we feel about it?
You want to know if that lessens our chances or not. We're playing very possibly the best team in the league—we don't know what's going to happen in the East—and 9.75 people out of 10 would figure the Warriors will beat the Spurs. Well, we've had a pretty damn good season, we've played fairly well in the playoffs, I think we're getting better. We're up 23 points in the third quarter, against Golden State, and Kawhi goes down like that, and you want to know if our chances are less? And you want to know how we feel? That's how we feel.
Popovich has never been afraid to speak his mind, whether he's ranting about Donald Trump or going off on the officials, and this is a blistering rant on a play that knocked his star player out of the game. He may catch a big fine for calling an opponent out as a dirty player, but there was no way he was going to let Leonard's injury go by without a comment.
He certainly has an axe to grind here, but Coach Pop is an authority on the sport with a long history of facing Pachulia as an opponent. Even if you're not a Spurs fan, his words are worth considering.
Popovich:Who gives a damn abt what his intent was? Ever hear of manslaughter? U still go to jail when ur texting, end up killing somebody pic.twitter.com/a9ZtTn2O1u
Marcus Thompson, a columnist for the Bay Area News Group, authored a book that was released on Tuesday called Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry. We're sure there are some interesting tidbits in there, and the one that really grabbed people's attention suggests Curry's NBA success and popularity has pissed off a number of his very talented colleagues, including Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and LeBron James.
When you got a book out you got to hype it, and this past weekend Thompson was doing just that on The Big Lead's radio show where he explained the reasoning behind the animosity towards the two-time MVP. As transcribed by The Sporting News, here's what Thompson had to say:
“I think if you ask them and they're being honest, they don't like all the hype he gets, and they have to direct it that way. I think, out of all of them, if somebody doesn't like Steph Curry, I think it's probably Westbrook. He just shows no sign of … this ain't really about Steph, it's bigger. His seems to be, 'I don't like that dude.' But LeBron and them, I think they will say, 'Man, I like Steph. We can have a conversation.' But there's something that burns them about the fact that Steph is the one that is exalted and because of that they want to go at him and demean his hype. They want to take him down.”
Thompson also brought up this block from Game 6 of the 2016 Finals, before mentioning that you “never see” LeBron talk trash like that to anyone else:
He said part of what elicited that reaction was that players yearn to “go the extra mile to disprove [Curry's] hype.” He also brought up a more innocent time, when Curry was playing college ball for Davidson, and LeBron would “mentor” the youngster who is, like, three years younger than him. Perhaps you remember those days?
On that subject, Thompson said:
“[LeBron] was a big fan of Curry, he would go to Curry's games at Davidson, and even when they got to the NBA, they had moments where LeBron was looking at him like, ‘wow’ and then Steph kind of like challenged LeBron’s status. The part that’s odd for Steph – why does that mean there has to be some beef between us? He loves LeBron, he respects LeBron, and he’s like, ‘because the outside world is pitting us together, why do you and I have to now have this disdain between us, I thought we were cool? That’s the question that’s in Curry’s mind and Curry’s camp: Why do you not like me when all I did was basically respect everything you did, and kind of follow the model you carried out? So there's an interesting dynamic there, and it’s not just with LeBron, Steph wants to be accepted by all these guys. This is what he worked for. For you to say, ‘you're one of us.’ It seems like they don’t want to give that to him. Not yet anyway.”
He also had this to say about Chris Paul:
“Everybody on the Clippers … Chris Paul was one of those guys. Chris Paul was somebody [Curry] looked up to. Chris Paul used to dominate that matchup. Chris Paul was supposed to be next in line to win a championship. Then, suddenly, it was Steph … that’s another relationship where [Curry] was like, ‘oh, I look up to you,’ and suddenly there is this disdain vs Steph. There’s a lot of those …”
Finally, Thompson added that many players who were/are Hall of Famers have wondered why they weren't as beloved as Curry. If you want to hear what he had to say more in-depth, you can listen to it hear.
Those who follow LeBron James on his various social media accounts have seen him provide evidence of having More Life months in advance and apparently nudge Top Dawg to release Kendrick Lamar’s Untitled Unmastered. So the concept of King James getting some unreleased music in his championship ring-adorned hands isn’t a foreign concept. James’ latest Snapchat posts have led to fan speculation that he’s already sitting on new, unreleased heat from both Meek Mill and Nipsey Hussle.
One clip finds James giving his signature head-bob to a brooding Meek Mill track. User @MeekMilly_Fan strung the multiple Snapchat story clips together and posted them to Twitter with a plausible explanation.
“Lebron James playing that new @MeekMill intro for the album produced by @Nick_Papz on his Instagram story,” he captioned.
Some of this could be merely fan speculation, but it fits James’ penchant for getting albums and singles early. And seeing how James was on Twitter quoting unreleased bars from Drake’s “Lose You” months before the release of More Life, it might be worth checking out some of King James’ pre-playoff posts on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.
The Warriors have won 66 games this season and are primed to contend for the NBA title. Drake just dropped his latest album, More Life, and has broken a number of records for streaming since it dropped. None of these facts appear to be capable of stopping Draymond Green from roasting them for questionable fashion choices.
Green was out on the town with Drake, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry after the Warriors toppled the Pelicans on Saturday night, and he documented portions of their night on the town on his Snapchat feed. Drake caught the brunt of Draymond's wrath for a white shoes, white sock combo that looks ripped off from un-hip suburban dads everywhere.
But Green's Warriors teammates weren't safe from the ether, and he quickly moved on to attacking Durant and Curry for their sub-par jacket choices. Denim jackets have made a bit of a comeback in recent years, but Green doesn't appear to be a fan of the camouflage variation of that look.
Maybe we should have expected this from a crew surrounding Curry, the man whose name is on one of the most panned pairs of kicks of all time. Just as success begets success, hanging with people who can't pull a fit off might have a damaging effect on your own style. If one of your boys is walking around rocking sneakers that look like you could mow the lawn in them, you might need to reevaluate your choices in life.
Even if we can't blame Chef Curry for this crew's style, Green was probably going to find a way to let them all have it regardless. It's hard to keep a trash talker quiet, even when you get them away from the court.
A post shared by GLOGangNationz (@gloganghq) on Apr 8, 2017 at 4:30pm PDT
It appears Chief Keef’s legal troubles are following him into 2017, as the rapper has reportedly been arrested for the second time this year. Footage of Chief Keef being restrained by Florida Police surfaced Saturday night, with multiple sources reporting the Glo Gang leader was briefly detained.
“Police put handcuffs on the hip-hop star after Chief Keef's friend in the passenger seat, allegedly hopped out of the bright green vehicle and started talking to people in another car,” wrote Cheyenne Roundtree in a report for The Daily Mail. “Miami Beach officials saw the interaction and believed it was a drug transaction and detained five people for questioning. The rapper has not been officially booked or charged yet.”
The corresponding video seems to corroborate the report, and it also appears the 21-year-old was subsequently released on bond. He re-appears with police shortly after the initial incident.
A post shared by GLOGangNationz (@gloganghq) on Apr 9, 2017 at 4:33am PDT
While both TMZ and The Daily Mail are reporting the arrest was in conjunction with a possible drug transaction, this has not been officially confirmed.
On Jan. 27, Chief Keef was arrested for his possible connection with a home invasion robbery his former producer, Ramsay Tha Great. According to the LAPD, Darron Rose was also arrested as a potential suspect in the January robbery. Chief Keef and Rose were respectively being held on $500,000 and $250,000 bail at the time.