The Warriors will return to the Bay Area on Friday with momentum on their side and the homecourt advantage at their back.
They started fast Thursday night before holding on to outlast the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-82 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena.
The victory tied the best-of-seven series at two games apiece as the action returns to the Bay Area this weekend for Game 5.
Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry, who each finished with 22 points. Draymond Green put in 17 and Harrison Barnes added 14.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr took the risk of changing his starting lineup, inserting Iguodala for center Andrew Bogut. Green started at center, with Iguodala joining Barnes at forward.
It worked. The Warriors set a fast early pace, which the Cavaliers tried and failed to match. The Warriors took a lead in the first quarter and never lost it, pulling away with a 27-12 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter.
LeBron James, so dominating through three games, averaging better than 40 points, returned to mortality, with 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Cleveland center Timofey Mozgov, the primary beneficiary of the Warriors’ lineup change, finished with a game-high 28 points.
Iguodala alternated between good and fabulous, in every way. In addition to his scoring, the veteran wing added a team-high-tying eight rebounds and a steal.
Among others making a major contribution were Shaun Livingston (seven points, seven rebounds, seven assists off the bench), Curry (14 second-half points, six total assists) and Green (seven rebounds, six assists, two steals).
Holding a 73-70 lead late in the third quarter, the Warriors went on a 9-0 run to go up 82-70 with 9:39 left in the game.
Curry accounted for 5 of the 9 points during the rally.
The Warriors initially took the lead in the first quarter. Trailing 16-9 with 7:28 left in the quarter, they went on 22-6 run to take a 31-22 lead with 31.7 seconds left in the period. The Cavs never again tied or took a lead.
Warriors: F Brandon Rush and C Ognjen Kuzmic, both healthy, were placed on the inactive list.
Cavaliers: G Kyrie Irving (left knee surgery), F Kevin Love (dislocated left elbow) and C/F Anderson Varejao (rupture left Achilles tendon) were listed as out and did not play.
Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday (5 p.m. PDT) at Oracle Arena.