Kerr’s call leads to Warriors triumph


Louis LaVenture,
Sports and Campus Editor

They’re back.

After falling in game three of the NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, the Golden State Warriors dominated game four on Thursday 103-82 to even the series 2-2, thanks to a gutsy coaching decision by first-year head coach Steve Kerr.

The rookie head coach made a bold move and inserted ninth-year veteran guard Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup for center Andrew Bogut. Many criticized Bogut for his “soft” play in the game three loss. The gamble paid off for the Warriors and Kerr as Iguodala held Lebron James to just 7-for-21 shooting in the game and tallied a season-high 22 points in his first start of the year.

We found something we liked in the pick and roll sets and we wanted to speed it up a little bit.

— Andre Iguodala

“We did it for pace and floor spacing, to get the tempo going,” Kerr said in a press conference after the game. “I don’t think the biggest difference was the starting lineup or the adjustment. I think the biggest difference was we played harder and competed harder every possession.”

The decision to start Iguodala seemed to backfire on Kerr and he was forced to take a quick timeout after the Cavaliers jumped out to a 7-0 lead. The Warriors came back and had a 7 point lead after the first quarter and took a 12-point lead into the half at 54-42.

“We found something we liked in the pick and roll sets and we wanted to speed it up a little bit,” Iguodala said in a press conference after the game. “We haven’t been able to get what we wanted so we tried this and it worked. We’ve been going against each other for a decade and have had some great battles.”

Game three hero for the Cavaliers and Saint Mary’s alum Matthew Dellavedova could not find the magic from the previous win and was held to just 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field. Timofey Mosgov was a force inside for Cleveland and exploited the “small ball” lineup implored by Golden State on his way to a game-high 28 points.

The bench played a huge role for the Warriors and several key contributors left their presence on the game four win. Shaun Livingston provided a great size matchup and he utilized his long arms and passing ability to exploit the smaller Cavalier guards. David Lee and his $15 million salary also made a strong appearance for Golden State and the former All-Star recorded 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists in just 15 minutes on the floor.

Lee has been criticized for his massive salary and his decreased role as a bench player, however, the 10-year veteran has been solid as a substitute in the last two games. Lee lost his starting role to Draymond Green who has been the heart and soul of the Warriors all season. Green was in foul trouble throughout the game, primarily because at 6-feet-7-inches he was forced to guard the 7-foot-1-inch Mosgov for most of the game. Green finished the game with 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in 32 minutes on the floor.

In the third quarter, James was fouled by Bogut and fell into a cameraman under the basket head first which caused bleeding and lacerations to the superstars head. However, James managed to stay in the game and finish without showing any signs of injury or concussion-like symptoms.

The splash brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, didn’t exactly light it up but the two managed to score when it was needed and helped their squad secure the victory and return home to Oakland for Sunday’s game five at Oracle Arena. Curry was 4-of-7 from behind the three-point line on his way to 22 points while Thompson recorded just 9 points in 39 minutes.

“We have a lot of guys that come off the bench for us who can start for a lot of teams in this league,” Curry said in a press conference after the game. “So it is not surprising to me at all when guys off the bench come up big.”

Tip-off in Oakland is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sunday.