Golden State Warriors lose first playoff game after 15-0 start

After losing every Game 3 of the 2016 playoffs and suffering through their worst playoff performances of each of their first two series in 2017, the stage was set for the Golden State Warriors to lose Game 3 of the 2017 Finals in Cleveland. Instead, the Warriors overcame a six-point deficit with less than three minutes left in the game and claimed a 118-113 victory.

Most of the NBA world assumed that Cleveland had given their best effort in Game 3, only to fall short. The Warriors were expected to cruise to a Game 4 victory to close out the postseason with an unblemished 16-0 record.

However, the Cavaliers had other plans. Their role players finally contributed, and their Big 3 all put up stellar performances as the Cavaliers controlled the game from start to finish in a 137-116 victory. The Cavaliers set quite a few records in the process, as their 49-point first quarter, 86-point first half, and 24 three-point makes were all records for any NBA Finals game.

Cleveland's dominant performance in Game 4 was certainly unexpected, even though it came after a close Game 3 that nearly swung their way and altered the course of the series. However, the Warriors have controlled most of the action in these Finals, despite their demoralizing loss in what could have been the closeout game. While the Cavaliers will have a new lease on life after their crushing victory, all signs point to the Warriors closing out the gentleman's sweep with a Game 5 win in Oakland.

1. Cleveland's Role Players Arrive

After barely showing up for the first three games, Cleveland's role players finally showed up in their Game 4 victory. J.R. Smith was arguably the only player to arrive before Game 4, and he repeated his solid showing in Game 3 on the offensive end while holding Klay Thompson to just 13 points after he exploded for 30 the night before. Tristan Thompson grabbed 10 rebounds on Friday night, nearly matching his combined total of 11 through the first three games. Deron Williams scored his first points of the series, including Cleveland's record-breaking 19th triple on a beautiful sequence with 32 seconds left in the third quarter: