The 2017 N.B.A. finals may not have been particularly competitive so far, but the rubber match between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors has certainly captured the public’s interest, with ESPN reporting that the series has had the highest viewership for an N.B.A finals since 1998. With the Cavaliers on the brink of being eliminated on their home court, all eyes will be on Golden State to see if they can finish a perfect postseason.
How to watch: ABC has the broadcast of the game at 9 p.m. You can also stream it online at WatchESPN.com
■ The Warriors are trying to be the ninth team to complete a sweep of the N.B.A. finals and the first to do it without having lost a single playoff game. In his long career, LeBron James has only been swept out of the playoffs once, and that was in 2007 when Tim Duncan’s Spurs crushed James’s inexperienced and dramatically outgunned team in the finals.
■ Coming back from a 3-1 deficit last year was unprecedented, but the Cavaliers have an even bigger task this year, down 3-0. No N.B.A. team has ever come back from such a deficit in a seven-game series. It has been accomplished just four times in the N.H.L. and once in major league baseball.
■ The Cavaliers proved once again in Game 3 that when LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are at their absolute peak, they are able to keep up with or even surpass the Warriors. Unfortunately for Cleveland, they were only able to do that for 45 minutes, rather than all 48, with Coach Steve Kerr of the Warriors reassuring his players all game that they simply had to wait for the Cavaliers to wear down. For an upset in the game, or the series, Cleveland will have to find a way to have its stars go all out without running out of gas.
■ The Cavaliers finally goaded Draymond Green into an overreaction, when the volatile forward got a technical foul in Game 3 for arguing a foul call. The turning point in last year’s Finals was Green being suspended for an altercation with James, and finding a way to get him off the court is undoubtedly a priority, even if the presence of Kevin Durant makes the loss of Green seem less devastating.
■ It is a long-shot, but if Stephen Curry were able to get 11 rebounds and 13 assists in Game 4, he would be averaging a triple-double in the series. While he always says the right things about not seeking out individual goals, Curry does have an awareness of statistics. In the last game of 2016, he needed eight 3-pointers to get to 400 and 41 points to average 30 a game for the season. He got 10 3-pointers and 46 points. LeBron James, meanwhile, is already averaging a triple-double and needs just 3 rebounds and 9 assists in tonight’s game to keep that going.
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