Game 4 of the NBA Finals was a series of shams stacked atop one another, with some world-class offensive basketball mixed in. It’s been some time since we’ve seen a game with so much outrageous tomfoolery mixed among picturesque scoring. The Cavaliers and Warriors gave us a little bit of everything, with defense being the lone omission.
In the end, the Cavaliers extended the series with a 137-116 victory. Let’s recount it in as much detail as we can:
The Cavaliers scored like they were playing NBA 2K17 on the beginner mode.
Their 49 points in the first quarter were the most in any frame in Finals history, and it looked for a while like they’d threaten the all-time single-game points record of 148, set by the Celtics against the Lakers in 1985.
What was going on here? Ah, nothing. Just a team staving off a sweep against the best opponent in the world by scoring 49 points in the first 12 minutes of the game. This was incredible, and it framed what became a weird night of hoops in myriad other ways.
Draymond Green got tossed for two technical fouls. Then he didn’t.
Green got one tech in the first half, after he elbowed Iman Shumpert in the head and apparently thought he didn’t. The evidence was convincing, however.
Plot twist, though: Green didn’t actually get the technical. The game’s scoresheet said he did, but officials really assessed the tech to his head coach, Steve Kerr, who’d animatedly hopped from the bench and approached a referee. The only reason we know that tech was on Kerr and not Green is that Green took a different technical in the third quarter. Two techs is an automatic ejection, but Draymond didn’t leave.
Around this time, Cavaliers fans started to chant “Draymond sucks!” Green responded the way any self-respecting man would: by nonchalantly bobbing his head to the beat of thousands of people saying a mean thing about him. It was a surreal scene.
Also around this time, Green’s mother tweeted something about poop and the bribery of the referees working the game. There was just a lot going on.
These OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY PAID! #— GreenMile (@BabersGreen) June 10, 2017
Cavs fans chanted “Russell Westbrook” while Kevin Durant shot free throws.
Iman Shumpert had one of the better flops of the playoffs.
Iman Shumpert acting like Stephen Curry killed him.— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) June 10, 2017
Zaza Pachulia whacked Shumpert in the groin.
This was during the chaos of a battle for a loose ball. You be the judge.
If that’s not a deliberate shot to an opponent’s testicles, that’s a truly transcendent coincidence. Pachulia remained in the game.
Dahntay Jones got a technical foul from the bench.
He’s reportedly lost almost all of the money he’s made from the Cavs this year by getting T’d up. Who among us hasn’t been in a situation like this one?
Dahntay Jones' playoff fines are now up to $9,000. Season salary was $9,127. https://t.co/WEbzMgi3nV— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 10, 2017
Dwyane Wade showed up wearing this outfit.
The Golden State Warriors lost a basketball game.
That hadn’t happened since April 10 and may not happen again until sometime next fall. They will not have a 16-0 postseason.