June 10, 2016, 10:02 pm
LeBron James logged a whopping 46 minutes in the Cavs’ 108-97 Game 4 loss to the Warriors on Friday, scoring 25 points on 11-of-21 shooting with 13 rebounds, nine assists, two steals, three blocks and seven turnovers.
James, Kyrie Irving (43 minutes) and J.R. Smith (43 minutes) couldn’t keep pace with the Warriors late and James in particular faded down the stretch. If the Cavs are going to max guys out they’re going to have to adjust their pace, which they can do even if they play small. Irving was excellent on offense and scrappy on defense in this one, finishing with 34 points on 14-of-28 shooting, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block. Smith hit 3-of-10 shots for 10 points but was also active on defense.
Jefferson had the best plus-minus (-5) among the starters and did it in 25 minutes. There will be no time for lineup hesitation in Game 5 on Monday in Oakland. They need to consider matching up James at center with Draymond Green (assuming he plays) when the Warriors go to their death lineup, while keeping their bigs closer to 40 mpg than the 60+ they played tonight.