for this game

Cavs shoot for 3-1 lead over Warriors

Jun 11, 2015 - 1:42 PM ( - The Cleveland Cavaliers will try to take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors Thursday night when Game 4 of the NBA Finals takes place at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavs moved ahead 2-1 with a 96-91 victory Tuesday night at the Q.

LeBron James was again the catalyst. He finished two assists shy of another triple-double, recording 40 points and 12 rebounds.

Cleveland nearly squandered a 20-point, third-quarter cushion Tuesday night after letting an 11-point lead slip away in the final three-plus minutes of regulation in Game 2 before winning in overtime.

Stephen Curry hit a 3-pointer to trim the Golden State deficit to a point with 2:45 left, but the Cavs scored the next seven points and kept the Warriors at bay the rest of the way.

"Golden State made some shots, which they're capable of doing," Cavaliers coach David Blatt said of the Warriors' comeback. "We weren't as aggressive."

James, coming off an NBA Finals career-high 44-point performance in Game 1 and his fifth NBA Finals triple-double in Game 2, was 14-of-34 from the field and sunk all six of his crucial foul shots in the final minute.

"I don't like to shoot high-volume shots, but it's the Finals," James said. "I'm just trying to do whatever it takes."

Matthew Dellavedova, again starting for the injured Kyrie Irving, netted 20 points and Tristan Thompson added 10 points and 13 boards for Cleveland.

Curry, who missed 18 of his 23 shots in Game 2, continued to struggle in the first half of Game 3, but found his shooting stroke over the final 24 minutes. He scored three points on 1-of-6 shooting prior to the break before pouring in 24 on 9-of-14 efficiency over the last two quarters. Seventeen of those second-half points came in the fourth.

"He got aggressive and started making shots," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Curry in the fourth.

The Cavaliers again subdued the potent offense of the Warriors, who led the NBA in scoring, field-goal percentage and 3-point shooting. Cleveland held them to under 60 points through three quarters again after Golden State had surpassed that mark in each game prior to the Finals.

"It's not satisfying when they end with 91 (points)," James said. "We had a lot of mistakes in the fourth quarter."

Golden State shot just 35.4 percent (23-of-65) and made 5-of-20 from beyond the arc over the first three frames before charging back in the fourth.

"We became the aggressors," Curry said of the final frame. "For us to win this series, we have to play that way the whole game."

The Warriors netted the first eight points of the fourth when consecutive treys from Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala trimmed the gap to 72-63.

After Curry's triple got Golden State within 81-80, Dellavedova's three-point play -- a foul-line floater over Curry -- preceded James' 3 that quickly extended the Cleveland margin back to six.

It was 92-83 in favor of the Cavs with 51 ticks on the clock after James knocked down a pair from the foul line. Curry, though, single-handedly clawed the Warriors within a possession with a second 3 in the final minute.

His drifting triple from the left wing made it 94-91, but James made two more bonus shots at the other end and Iguodala's right corner trey was off the mark in the waning seconds to seal the outcome.

The Warriors are in tricky territory. They did not lose three straight games all season and faced a similar 2-1 hole in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies. Golden State won Game 4 in Memphis, then took the last two to advance.

"The similarity is there. Physical team that slows it down, like Memphis did," Kerr said of the predicament his team faces. "Our frustration with our pace and tempo is there. So it's very similar, and it's very helpful that we've been through this process. Obviously, the personnel is different, the teams are different. But it's something we've been through, and that is a positive that we can draw on that experience."

The Cavs are faced with more injury questions after already losing All-Stars Irving (fractured knee cap) and Kevin Love (shoulder) during the postseason.

Dellavedova, who played a season-high 39 minutes on Tuesday, received an IV as part of his postgame treatment and spent the night at Cleveland Clinic with severe dehydration.

"They thought the best form of recovery was to go to the hospital for a little bit and get an IV," Dellavedova said on Wednesday. "I'm feeling pretty good (now)."

Iman Shumpert left the game to have his left shoulder examined but returned after a trip to the locker room. An MRI revealed a bruise, and the fourth-year guard was adamant about playing on Thursday.

"It would take a lot for me not to play. There would have to be structural damage," Shumpert said.

Game 5 will be Sunday night at Oracle Arena.