Iguodala to the rescue as Warriors pull level in NBA Finals
CLEVELAND (NBA) - Andre Iguodala's name has not been flashing in bright lights this season.
He's not one of the Splash Brothers, yet that doesn't mean he is not among the league's top players.
The 31-year-old reminded everyone of that on Thursday night in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, when Golden State Warriros head coach Steve Kerr inserted Iguodala into the starting line-up and he responded with one of the most important performances of his career to help the Warriors beat the Cavaliers in Cleveland, 103-82.
All Iguodala, a 2010 FIBA Basketball World Cup winner and 2012 Olympic champion with the United States, did was pour in a season-high 22 points and corral eight rebounds.
Both teams go small in Q1 & @warriors capitalize w/ 31-24 lead on ABC over @cavs behind 9pt from Iguodala. #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/lOuHAoIKrM— NBA (@NBA) June 12, 2015
Starting in place of Australian center Andrew Bogut, what the Warriors lost in size, they gained in quickness and perimeter shooting with Iguodala.
He drilled four three-pointers from nine attempts and also got out on the fast break and had some sensational, electrifying dunks.
The Warriors knotted the series at 2-2 and can now return home with an opportunity to take the lead in the best-of-seven game showdown.
We just wanted to speed up the pace a little bit - Iguodala
"The games we lost, throughout the whole series, we hadn't been able to get the numbers we wanted and hadn't been able to put up the points.
"We said, 'Hey, let's throw a little wrinkle in and see how it works,' and it worked for us tonight."
Stephen Curry was on his game as well, connecting on four of seven shots from the arc and finishing with 22 points for Golden State.
Draymond Green, who struggle offensively through the first three games, contributed 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Meanwhile, LeBron James - who was the first player to ever score 123 points in the opening three games of a NBA Finals - had 20 points but was just seven of 22 from the field.
The player guarding him for much of the night was Iguodala, who said of his defensive strategy: "Make him take tough shots.
"You look at his strengths, you look at his weaknesses, and you try to take him out of his comfort zone."
Australian point guard Matthew Dellavedova, who had been terrific in the previous two outings as a starter in place in injured Kyrie Irving but needed an IV at the Cleveland Clinic after helping the Cavaliers win Game 3, came back down to earth with a two-of-nine shooting performance and 10 points.
Russian center Timofey Mozgov had a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavs but wasn't able to make his normal impact on defense against a quicker Warriors line-up.
Tristan Thompson also weighed in with 12 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland for his second straight double-double.
The Canadian is averaging 13.8 boards per game in the Finals.
Cavaliers coach David Blatt took the defeat in his stride and looked forward.
"We're in a three-game series for the NBA Finals," Cleveland coach David Blatt said.
"Six months ago I would have bought that.
"We've got to go back to the drawing board, go back to work, play the best basketball we can and try to win this thing."
Game 5 is on Sunday at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.