Inside The Box Score: 2018 NBA Finals Game 4
By Brian Martin
The Golden State Warriors won their third NBA championship in the past four years after completing a four-game sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Stephen Curry scored 37 points, while Finals MVP Kevin Durant recorded his first career playoff triple-double in the clinching game.
Let’s take a closer look at Golden State’s Game 4 win with a deep dive into the box score.
Traditional (View Stats)
- Stephen Curry had his highest-scoring game of this year’s playoffs in Game 4 as he finished with a game-high 37 points to go with six rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks. It was Curry’s 10th playoff game with at least 37 points; the Warriors are 9-1 in those games.
- Curry connected on seven 3-pointers in Game 4, giving him 22 for the Finals. It is the most 3-pointers made in any four-game playoff series, breaking his own record of 21 set last season against San Antonio. Curry shot 22-53 (41.5%) from beyond the arc in this series.
- Kevin Durant recorded his first career playoff triple-double in Game 4 as he finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, three blocks and a steal on Friday. According to Elias, Durant became the fifth player to produce a 20-point triple-double in his team's Finals-clinching victory. LeBron James has done that twice (2012 and 2016), and three others did so once: Larry Bird (1986), James Worthy (1988), and Tim Duncan (2003).
- Durant edged out Curry in Finals MVP voting (7-4 in favor of Durant) to become the sixth player in NBA history to repeat as Finals MVP since the award was introduced in 1969. Durant posted a game-high plus-30 in the series-clinching Game 4 win and was plus-86 for the Finals overall. Curry was second at plus-53 in the series.
- Durant scored 608 points in this year's postseason, the most ever by a Warriors player, passing Stephen Curry (594 points in 2015). Durant's 115 points in the Finals are the most for any player in a Finals-winning sweep since Shaquille O'Neal (145 in 2002), according to Elias.
- LeBron James scored 23 points in Game 4 to give him 748 points in 22 games during the 2018 postseason. That is the second-most points ever scored in a single playoffs, trailing only Michael Jordan, who scored 759 during the 1992 Playoffs (also in 22 games played).
- The Warriors outscored the Cavaliers 25-13 in the third quarter in a final example of their third-quarter dominance in this postseason. Over 21 games, the Warriors outscored their opponents by 153 points in the third quarter. In the other three quarters combined, the Warriors outscored their opponents by a total of 47 points.
- The Warriors held the Cavaliers to 34.5 percent shooting in Game 4 and blocked 13 of their 87 shot attempts. The 13 blocks was a playoff high for the Warriors this year; they only had three games during the regular season with more than 13 blocked shots.
- Game 4 was Golden State’s lowest scoring game of the Finals (108 points), but their largest victory of the series (plus-23) as they held Cleveland to 85 points.
- After Game 1 featured 15 lead changes and 17 ties, there were a total of 19 lead changes and 10 ties in the final three games of the series. Game 4 featured eight lead changes and one tie, with Golden State taking the lead for good midway through the second quarter.
Advanced (View Stats)
- The Warriors allowed just 78.2 points per 100 possessions in the 28:30 that Klay Thompson was on the floor in Game 4 - the best defensive rating of any player in the game.
- JaVale McGee led all players in offensive rating (149.6) and net rating (plus-66.0) as the Warriors were dominant in his 16:28 of court time in Game 4. McGee started the final three games of the series and shot 14-17 (82.4%) from the field.
- Draymond Green had nine assists and just one turnover in Game 4. During the Finals, Green led the Warriors with 34 assists while committing just five turnovers for an assist/turnover ratio of 6.80.
- The Warriors outscored the Cavaliers by 60 points over the four-game sweep in 2018. It was their largest scoring differential of any of their three championships over the past four seasons: plus-34 in 2017 and plus-43 in 2015. In Cleveland’s championship run in 2016, they outscored the Warriors by just four points over seven games. Over the past four Finals combined, the Warriors have outscored the Cavaliers by a total of 133 points over 22 games.
Miscellaneous (View Stats)
- After Cleveland dominated second chance points in the first three games of the series (plus-30), the Warriors matched the Cavaliers with 19 second chance points in Game 4.
- Game 4 was the first game that Golden State did not lead in fast break points. After taking a 23-point advantage on fast break points into Game 4, the Warriors had a playoff-low five fast break points in Game 4 to Cleveland’s 10.
- Both teams scored 38 points in the paint - the first time either team was held below 50 points in the paint in this series. LeBron James led all players with 12 of his 23 points coming in the paint; Stephen Curry led the Warriors with eight of his 37 points coming in the paint.
Scoring (View Stats)
- Cleveland assisted on 70 percent of their field goals in Game 4 (21 assists on 30 field goals made). LeBron James had eight of those assists as he was the only player that had less than half of his shots assisted (28.6%).
- Golden State scored 38.9 percent of their points from beyond the arc in Game 4 - the highest percentage of any game in this year’s Finals (31.5% in Game 1, 36.9% in Game 2, 24.5% in Game 3). Cleveland’s 28.2% of points from 3-point range was also a single-game high in this year’s Finals.
Usage (View Stats)
- Stephen Curry led all players in usage rate in Game 4 at 38.9 percent, with LeBron James leading the Cavs at 26.5 percent.
- It was Curry’s second-highest usage rate of the series and the playoffs - trailing only 39.1 percent rate during his Game 2 explosion. It was the exact opposite for LeBron as Game 4 was his second-lowest usage rate of any game this postseason and the lowest of this series.
- Curry scored 40.7 percent of Golden State’s points while he was on the court in Game 4. LeBron James led the Cavaliers at 31.9 percent, followed by Kevin Love at 27.7 percent.
Four Factors (View Stats)
- The teams split the four factors in Game 4 with Golden State holding the edge in effective field goal percentage and turnover ratio and the Cavs leading in free throw rate and offensive rebound percentage.
- Golden State’s edge in effective field goal percentage (53.5% to 39.1%) was simply too much to overcome despite the Cavs getting to the free throw line more often and getting more shot attempts due to extra offensive rebounds.
- Despite grabbing seven more offensive rebounds than the Warriors, the Cavaliers did not have an advantage in second chance points (19-19). And despite getting nine more free throw attempts, the Cavaliers made just one more free throw than the Warriors, who shot a perfect 16-16 from the charity stripe.
- For Golden State, their 53.5 eFG% was their lowest of the series, but they held the Cavs to their worst shooting performance of the series (39.1%) and their second-worst shooting performance of the entire postseason.
Hustle (View Stats)
- The Warriors swept all of the hustle categories in Game 4: screen assists (8-3), deflections (18-12), loose balls recovered (21-14), charges drawn (1-0), contested shots (65-55) and box outs (42-29).
- Andre Iguodala led all players with five deflections in his 22:41 on the court in Game 4.
- In addition to leading all players in scoring, Stephen Curry also recovered a game-high seven loose balls in Game 4.
- Despite only grabbing three rebounds in the game, Draymond Green led all players 13 box outs in Game 4 as the Warriors matched the Cavaliers in rebounds with 44 apiece in Game 4.