CLEVELAND For the past week, the sporting public has been subjected to a line of former NBA greats bellyaching about the state of the game and how, in their day, they’d make mincemeat of the teams in these NBA Finals.
Well, all right, geezers. If it was gutsy, physical, old-school basketball you wanted, for one night, you got it.
What a night it was. The Cavaliers scratched, clawed and elbowed their way to a Game 4 137-116 win over the Warriors, leaving in their wake a trail of carnage, and most importantly denting the apparent invincibility of the Warriors by delivering the first loss of these playoffs to Golden State’s locker room door.
James enters this series with 1,079 points in the Finals, good for seventh on the all-time Finals scoring list. With 239 points in this series, however, he can climb to second place all-time, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,317), Michael Jordan (1,176), Elgin Baylor (1,161), Bill Russell (1,151) and Sam Jones (1,143). James would need average just more than 34 points per game in a seven-game series to hit 239. James just passed Jordan for the most points in playoff history with 5,995.
Golden State finished with 67 wins in the 2016-17 regular season, tied for the seventh-most in NBA history. The Warriors are the first team in league history to win 64 or more games in three consecutive seasons.