CLEVELAND — Stephen Curry shook off Iman Shumpert with a dribble, stepped back behind the line and splashed a 3-pointer that seemed to submerge a mute button on rocking and rolling Quicken Loans Arena.
Curry clenched both fists, slapped his chest and yelled, “C’mon!”
At last, this was the MVP and these were the Golden State Warriors — so deep, so deadly.
Curry and Andre Iguodala scored 22 points apiece and the Warriors, showing why they were the league’s best team all season, squared the NBA Finals at 2-2 on Thursday night with a 103-82 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Game 5 is Sunday night at Oakland’s rambunctious Oracle Arena, where the teams split two overtime games last week. This wasn’t desperation for the Warriors, but it was close, as none of the 32 teams that have fallen behind 3-1 in the finals has won a title.
“Tonight we came in with the mentality that we had to win this game,” said Curry.
So they did. These guys are California cool.
“We played desperate out there, man,” Klay Thompson said. “We played real hungry. It was just awesome to come out here and impose our will on both sides of the ball and play our brand of basketball. That’s what’s been winning us games all year.”
LeBron James scored 20 points — 21 under his average in the series — with 12 rebounds and eight assists, but Cleveland’s megastar, who needed stitches to close a cut on his head sustained when banged it into a camera in the first half, didn’t score in the fourth quarter and couldn’t do enough for the undermanned Cavaliers.
Timofey Mozgov led Cleveland with 28 points and guard Matthew Dellavedova, again battling leg cramps after a hospital stay for dehydration, had 10.
Thumbnail image via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images
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