The Cleveland Cavaliers have got themselves right back in the NBA Final series against the Golden State Warriors with a convincing 120-90 home win at the Quickens Loan Arena on June 8th. The Cavs now trail two games to one after dropping the first two at the Oracle Arena in Oakland last week. Game four of the best-of-seven series is set to go back in Cleveland on Friday, June 10th 2016. A win by Golden State will give them a chance to wrap up the series at home next Monday, while a Cleveland victory will guarantee a sixth game.

Warriors vs Cavaliers Game 4 – bet365 Basketball Betting Line:

  • Point Spread and Over Under: bet365 lists Golden State +1.5 points at 1.90 with Cleveland -1.5 at 1.90 with the over/under 206.0 points at 1.90.
  • Money Line: Golden State 2.05, Cleveland 1.80

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Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue was happy with his team’s quick start on Wednesday as they jumped out to a 33-16 lead. In addition, his big-money players all showed up and chipped in as LeBron James racked up 32 points and Kyrie Irving chipped in with 30. Kevin Love missed the contest due to a head injury suffered in game two and Richard Jefferson, his replacement, had nine points. The win snapped the Cavs’ seven-game playoff losing streak to Golden State. The Cavs’ starters dominated their Warriors counterparts by outscoring them 105-57 in the game and that was a key point since Cleveland’s bench is nowhere near as strong as Golden State’s.

Tristan Thompson and Jefferson showed good energy beneath the basket while J.R. Smith and Irving’s shooting was a lot better than the first two outings. They combined to go 19 for 38 with 50 points between them. Cleveland also improved defensively and on the glass and had the 52-32 edge there. Jefferson mixed it up well in the paint and that was a relief for Lue and the Cavaliers’ fans. The Warriors’ Draymond Green outplayed Love in Oakland, but Jefferson helped pick up the intensity by holding his own and his teammates fed off of his performance. With a chance to even the series on Friday Lue might not want to mess with his winning lineup by starting Love on the bench if he’s healthy enough to suit up.

The Cleveland bench was outscored again in game three, 33-15 this time, and Love could help to strengthen it. The Warriors’ bench outscored Cleveland’s 75-40 in the first two games and have an edge of 108-55 in the series so far. It’s obvious Love’s offensive abilities could help out in that area. However, Lue could be tempted to start the three-time all-star right from the tipoff. Of course, there’s always the possibility that Love is ruled out of game four as well and Lue won’t have to make a difficult decision. The only thing that is guaranteed in this series is that Cleveland won’t be swept.

Cleveland figured out a good offense is the best form of defense played small ball with Jefferson starting rather than Channing Frye or Timofey Mozgov. The Warriors’ fans must be starting to wonder if there’s anything wrong with MVP Stephen Curry as he wasn’t at his best again with 19 points. Klay Thompson also struggled with just 10 points. He suffered a knee injury during the game after a collision with Mozgov, but returned to action. The Cavaliers solved the mystery for one game at least and it should boost their confidence ahead of Friday’s meeting, especially doing so without Love in the lineup. It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep up the momentum and head back to the west coast with the series tied 2-2.

by Ian S. Palmer