Fri, Jun 8, 2:11pm by Staff Writer
Date and Time: Saturday June 9, 11am AEST
Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
The Golden State Warriors are one game away from claiming back-to-back NBA titles as they hold a commanding 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Game four of the series takes place on Saturday in Cleveland, with the Warriors $1.49 favourites. The Cavs are $2.72 outsiders at Sportsbet and giving away a 5.5-point start at $1.95.
Not even a LeBron James triple-double in game three could help the Cavs, as they stumbled down the stretch, particularly on the defensive end, to lose 110-102.
Kevin Durant was immense for the Warriors, scoring 43 points and nailing six three-pointers.
Durant was unstoppable and was a lone offensive force for the Warriors, with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggling from the field.
Durant could claim his first NBA Finals MVP honour on Saturday if the Warriors claim victory and he is a $1.25 favourite to win that award.
Cleveland have struggled throughout this series to turn up on the defensive end and those frailties showed once again in game three.
If they are any chance of winning game four, they will need a hot start and a big lead heading into the fourth quarter, as they have struggled to contain Golden State for prolonged periods of time this series.
A LeBron James triple-double in game four is paying $3.25, with the world’s best player likely needing a triple-double and then some to topple this Warriors team.
Cleveland has yet to beat Golden State this season, with their last win against them coming in game four of last season’s playoffs, when down by a 3-0 scoreline.
Irrespective of the result of this series, it is likely to be LeBron James’ final season in Cleveland, with the star surely headed for greener pastures next season.
After the departure of Kyrie Irving, the Cavs roster has struggled to gel all season and despite making an unlikely finals appearance once again this season, they have at times been non-competitive during the playoffs.
Rodney Hood has been seldom utilised this post-season but provided a much-needed scoring boost with 15 points on Thursday.
J.R. Smith has been disappointing, with his confidence surely shot after an awful decision at the end of game one when the Cavs could have stolen victory.
George Hill missed a go-ahead free throw with just over four seconds remaining, and had he scored that bucket, the entire complexion of this series would be different.
As it stands, the Warriors are the best team in basketball and should take care of business on Saturday night, despite Cleveland’s desperation.
Best bet- Golden State 11+ at $2.74
Game 4 Odds – Sportsbet
Golden State $1.49 Cleveland $2.72
Handicap: -5.5 Golden State $1.95
Total points: over/under 215.5 at $1.90
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