Back to reality.
Suddenly, the Golden State Warriors are the team to beat again in the NBA Finals.
Like that, after the team with the NBA’s best record got off the mat and discovered its mojo during a 103-82 victory in Game 4 on Thursday night, Golden State has reclaimed home-court advantage.
BOX SCORE: WARRIORS 103, CAVALIERS 82
And yes, the Cleveland Cavaliers, even with LeBron James, blew a huge opportunity to blow the series wide open when they had the Warriors right in the raucous place they wanted them.
Now it’s possible the Cavs will just plain blow the series.
This is what can happen in a long, grueling series that can go seven games. Momentum shifts.
It shifted again in a big way at Quicken Loans Arena, when the undermanned Cavaliers finally played like a tired, battered team that had reached a limit while the Warriors came back life to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Where was the Matthew Dellavedova magic? Give the man his coffee.
What more can King James create? Let’s hope there are no more collisions with cameramen.
Was it really the plan to ride the back of Timofey Mozgov? Not with LeBron, who averaged 41 points through three games, limited to 20 points in Game 4. Mozgov, bless him, led all scorers with 28.
No matter. With each team winning a game on the other’s floor, the series is headed back to Oakland tied, 2-2, and far from over.
The Warriors — with comeback games from the likes of Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes, and a better start reflected by their highest-scoring first quarter of the series — needed to respond in the worst or, uh, best way. No team has ever rebounded from a 3-1 deficit to win an NBA title.
Yet the Warriors have indeed rallied from a 2-1 deficit this season in the playoffs. That they came back against the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals gave them a measure of belief that they could do it again.
Still, it’s way to early to celebrate.
If there’s one thing these NBA playoffs have taught us, it’s that momentum doesn’t necessarily carry over from game to game.