Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, June 12, 2015 at 12:00 AM
OUR NBA FINALS UPDATE:
WARRIORS DO "GET EVEN" IN GAME 4
WITH A COMMANDING 103-82 WIN OVER THE TIRED CAVS …
THE BASEBALL REPORT:
THE "I-70 SERIES" TAKES CENTER STAGE
THIS WEEKEND AS ROYALS-CARDINALS DUEL IN ST. LOO
Been there, done that … again!
The Golden State Warriors let experience be their teacher last night when they
- Followed up a two-game losing streak with a win, as Thursday's 103-82 triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of this year's NBA Finals elevated G-State's mark to 6-and-oh this year when following on the heels of a two-game losing skid and
- Copped a Game 4 road win after finding itself down two games-to-one in a playoff series, just as Steve Kerr's club had done in the Western Conference Semifinal Round series against the Memphis Grizzlies (see 101-84 triumph back on May 11 … or one month to the day, as you can see).
So, we have a dead-even series heading back to Oakland for Sunday's Game 5 – we'll have that preview in tomorrow's jam-packed edition of Jim Sez, okay? – but so much to analyze and digest from Golden State's 11th double-digit win this post-season, so let's get right to it:
NBA FINALS –
GOLDEN STATE 103, CLEVELAND 82 – Series tied 2-2
Want the real lowdown on the Warriors' eventual runaway win at "The Q" last night?
Simply put, Golden State perked up the pace (although it wasn't nearly the real run-run games that the Warriors prefer) and made things uncomfortable for the host Cavaliers and the home side both ran out of gas and simply missed "makeable" three-point shots.
Consider that Golden State sported a modest 76-70 lead on the scoreboard while heading into the fourth quarter of Game 4 and then the bottom really fell out for the Cavs as LeBron James (20 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists) didn't score a single point in the final quarter and that Cleveland perimeter game was atrocious as David Blatt's bunch shot a composite 4-of-27 from beyond the arc overall … maybe dopey J.R. Smith (missed all eight of his triple tries) should have spent more pre-game time practicing his jumper as opposed to roaming through the arena's hallways with his silly scooter. Hope you saw the video footage, but then again, this from a fool who spent part of his time with the New York Knicks untying the shoes of his opponents when their teammates lined up for free throws!
The proverbial bottom line is the Warriors won even though their heralded backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for just 31 total points on 12-of-26 FG shooting – Curry's 22 points included a monstrous three-ball early in the fourth; Thompson was pretty much MIA for the night and only had two assists against James – and must admit that we didn't believe a sub-55 point night between the famed "Splash Brothers" was gonna get mission accomplished here but the X-factor turned out to be veteran Andre Iguodala who earned Kerr's trust and started in a "small lineup" configuration and wound up 22 points and 8 rebounds while playing his own brand of bumper car defense on James.
Iguodala beat the Cavs to the hoop for a couple of meaningful dunks along the way and he helped to space the court for a finesse-first Warriors bunch that was pounded to the tune of 16-6 in terms of offensive rebounds – if just a few of those Cav trifectas would have dropped through the net it could have gotten scary in the game's final five minutes for the Warriors but instead Golden State put it into cruise control and basically let Cleveland C Timofey Mozgov get his 28 points with much of the damage done deep in the paint and on the free-throw line (see 10-of-12 FT makes for Mozgov).
No doubt the Cavs were let down here by energizer G Matthew Dellavedova who shot a horrid 3-of-14 from the floor for 10 points while cramping up much of the night and let's just say this whole night was nothing to write home about for King James who was conked on the head by an all-too-close-to-the-court camera – it was great when you heard one fan tell the guilty cameraman "That was your fault!" – and really showed no spark as you got the sense his gas tank was running close to "E" right from the very start of Game 4.
Well, at least his mom gave him a comforting kiss on the cheek following that scary camera incident.
So, in the end, Kerr's much-needed adjustment to "go small" and bench an ineffective and foul-prone Andrew Bogut for Iguodala worked wonders and kudos to Golden State's front-court tandem of Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes who combined for 31 points and 15 rebounds and a round of applause to key reserves Shaun Livingstone and David Lee (a combined 16 points and 13 boards) and, while we're at it, hats off to the Las Vegas crowd that pushed the Warriors to being a 4-point betting favorite at game time as G-State improved to 9-10 ATS (against the spread) during this post-season.
Now, here's the Warriors-Cavaliers series in game chart form (and note that all home teams are in CAPS below):
Take note …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to rake in major profits in this year's NBA Finals – hope you've been with us right from the very start of these pro hoop playoffs, folks, because we've absolutely cashed in for some big-time balloons!
Go online right here at www.jimhurley.com or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day of these NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors (Game 5 is Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC-TV) and remember to cash in too with all the Major-League Baseball winners as Jim stays red-hot heading into summer!
THE BASEBALL REPORT
If you'll recall, we started off this week's editions of Jim Sez by talking about the American League and some streaking teams – and the Toronto Blue Jays (31-30) have yet to stop streaking!
The Jays begin play in Boston this weekend riding a 2015 team-best eight-game winning streak and if you hadn't noticed the North-of-the-Border gang has outscored its last eight foes by a composite tally of 57-21, so the offense is cranking it up pretty good (we better see 3B Josh Donaldson on this year's All-Star Game roster!) while the pitching has quietly gotten its act together while allowing just 2.6 runs per game during this aforementioned winning streak.
So, we'll be keeping track of the Blue Jays in Fenway Park this June weekend but, otherwise, all eyes are on the great state of Missouri because of Part II of this great intrastate and Interleague series:
KANSAS CITY (34-23) at ST. LOUIS (39-21) -- Fri, Sat & Sun
Don't you just love when TV announcers say "if the season ended today …"?
Well, if the season did end today the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals – those old "Show Me State rivals" – would be the #1 seeds in their respective league playoffs and wouldn't a Royals-Cards World Series be some way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of that controversial Fall Classic win by KC way, way back in 1985?
The here-and-now says the Cardinals are a walking-wounded bunch as LF Matt Holliday earlier this week was placed on the 15-day DL with a right quad strain and keep in mind Holliday ranks fourth in the NL in on-base percentage (.417) and he joins 1B Matt Adams (out for the year) on the sidelines while news from Royals-land is that 3B Mike Moustakas is 10-for-32 this month while hitting safely in seven of KC's eight games in June. Hey, KayCee manager Ned Yost would like to see some more pop from Moustakas here (just 5 HR on the year) but remember this is a Royals team that ranks a lowly 12th in the American League in home runs (43) this year and still Kansas City's showing World Series characteristics one year after falling one run short in last year's Series against the San Francisco Giants.
The weekend matchups should go like this with the Royals' projected starters listed first here:
RHP Yordano Ventura (3-5, 4.62 ERA) vs. LHP Jaime Garcia (1-3, 2.67) tonight (8:15 p.m. ET)
RHP Jeremy Guthrie (4-3, 5.82 ERA) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (4-4, 3.07) on Saturday afternoon (4:10 p.m. ET)
LHP Jason Vargas (5-2, 4.10 ERA) vs. RHP John Lackey (4-4, 3.74) on Sunday afternoon (2:15 p.m. ET)
NOTE: There's much more NBA Finals coverage plus MLB News/Notes too in the next edition of Jim Sez plus catch all our upcoming NCAA Football and NFL News in the days and weeks ahead!