LeBron James says he played the last three games in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 4-0 NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors "pretty much with a broken hand", after punching a blackboard in an outburst after Game 1.
After surviving a rougher-than-usual regular season and beating top-seeded Houston in Game 7 on the road in the Western Conference final, the Warriors withstood an overtime scare in Game 1 of the Finals and joined an elite group of teams to win multiple championships in four years.
LeBron James might be playing his last game as a member of the Cavaliers on Friday night. Stephen Curry scored 37 points with seven 3s, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks. Kevin Durant had a triple-double with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, and was named the MVP of the Finals.
Still tired and wrestling with emotions after losing Game 3 on Wednesday night, when Kevin Durant scored 43 points and shot the Warriors within one win of their third title in four years, James pointed out Thursday what has become terrifyingly obvious: The Warriors are at another level and may be for a while.
LeBron James was relaxed, reflective and even resigned to his fate.
"Whether it's opponents, whether it's different coaches panning for us, whether it's the fans, the media that hate us, it feels good when you're the team that everybody's gunning for", said Durant.
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Cleveland couldn't take advantage late in the second quarter when Curry, Thompson and Green all went to the bench, leaving Kevin Durant on the floor with a cast of role players.
James finished with 23 points Friday night, and immediately faced questions about free agency and his future but largely pushed those aside.
"I just want to congratulate Cleveland on an unbelievable season", Kerr praised.
Looking at the betting trends, the Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 Friday games. "So, I don't have an answer for you right now".
Durant scored 608 points in this year's postseason, the most ever by a Warriors player, passing Stephen Curry (594 points in 2015). The Warriors lead the series 3-0 with Game 4 on Thursday. "I hope he stays", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.
The Warriors held the Cavaliers to 34.5 percent shooting in Game 4 and blocked 13 of their 87 shot attempts. Overall, it was an uncharacteristic performance from the Warriors who resorted to isolation basketball in the second half, but it paid off as Durant was simply clutch when it mattered. With the defeat, the focus turns to LeBron James because he's in all likelihood going to be a free agent this summer. "If I get another opportunity next year to come back into the finals, I'm going to have the same attitude about winning a championship and whatever happens, happens". "I'm going to be the biggest fan in there with what he's able to do".