In the fourth, the Golden State Warriors used one of their trademark scoring bursts, a key 20-6 run, to take their first double-digit lead in what had been a heated, back-and-forth affair.
The Cleveland Cavaliers responded with only a barrage of bricks, as they missed 17 of 23 shots in the final quarter.
All told, the Warriors left Quicken Loans Arena with a 118-108 win Monday, their sixth straight regular-season win over the team they’ve met in the past three Finals.
The reeling Cavaliers have lost four straight and eight of 10, while the NBA-best Warriors have won 13 straight on the road.
LeBron James finished with 32 points to lead the Cavaliers, hitting 12 of 18 shots, but he finished with a season-high eight turnovers.
Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 32 points on 9-of-16 shooting, and Stephen Curry added 23 points. Draymond Green nearly posted a triple-double with 11 points, a game-high 16 rebounds and nine assists.
Neither team held a wide lead for much of the game, which featured 15 lead changes and 11 instances in which the score was tied. The Warriors held a 93-91 lead entering the final quarter. Then the Cavaliers kept missing shots, and the Warriors capitalized.
The Warriors also outscored the Cavaliers 24-15 from the free throw line.
It marked Golden State’s first game against Isaiah Thomas, who didn’t play for the Cavaliers in their Christmas matchup. Thomas scored 19 points on 8-of-21 shooting.
The Cavaliers shook their recent struggles early, jumping out to an 18-11 lead after hitting eight of their first 10 shots. But the Warriors responded, retaking the lead in a heartbeat.
The first half featured many Finals-worthy highlights, with Durant soaring for a fast-break slam over James, only for James to later pay back Durant by emphatically blocking his layup off the backboard, bringing roars from the crowd.
James scored 20 first-half points on 8-of-10 shooting, and the Cavaliers took a 64-57 lead into intermission, a lead punctuated with Dwyane Wade throwing an alley-oop pass that Jeff Green dunked in the final seconds before the halftime buzzer.
That Cleveland lead was aided by 38 points in the paint, which tied for their most in any half this season.
Durant had 13 points at halftime but scored 16 in the third quarter alone, setting up his team’s overpowering fourth.