Kyle Korver found his stroke late in the fourth quarter and the Cavaliers managed to not blow away another half-time lead in Game 4. Here are the player grades for tonight’s game.
LeBron James: B+
James has been phenomenal in the first halves of games. Tonight, he had 23 points, six rebounds and four assists at halftime. With the amount of burden on his shoulders, third quarters have not been kind of the King. James only managed nine points in the second half, while he had to spend every second on the court. Cleveland will need a more consistent LeBron the rest of this series to advance further in the playoffs.
Kyle Korver: B+
Korver started off the game extremely cold, missing his first four three-point attempts — which were wide open too. But for everything Korver’s been throughout the latter part of the season and this series, he managed to drill two three-pointers, with the Cavaliers desperately needing a bucket. Hopefully, the sharp shooter can carry this performance over into Cleveland for Game 5.
J.R. Smith: B-
Smith came out firing on all cylinders from the field, hitting nine points in the first quarter, including a buzzer-beating 70-footer. Smith’s tenacity on defense guarding Victor Oladipo has been a sight in this series. Smith’s been the most consistent Cavalier outside of James during this series.
Jordan Clarkson: B-
This was Clarkson’s coming out party in the playoffs. During the second quarter, Clarkson managed to score 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting. However, the second half wasn’t as friendly, as he couldn’t make a basket. Maybe he can settle in as the series turns back to Cleveland.
Jeff Green: C+
Jeff Green had a running hook and then a corner three-pointer early in the fourth quarter to keep the Cavaliers in the game. He also hit a free-throw to ice the game. Outside of that, Green deserves to see the bench for the rest of this series.
Tristan Thompson: C
Thompson only managed seven minutes on the court, but had a big impact against Myles Turner. Thompson set hard screens, didn’t give Indiana a runway to the rim and managed to have a positive effect on the glass. The former Cavs’ starting big man should absolutely see more minutes during the rest of this series.
Rodney Hood: C-
If Hood is going to only manage two attempts in 14 minutes of action, there’s two people to blame. Hood for not being aggressive enough and Tyronn Lue for not playing the shooting guard enough. Hood’s one of the few players on this team that can create his own shot, so Cleveland’s going to need more from him moving forward.
Larry Nance Jr.: C-
Nance looked lost on defense a few times, threw a ball out of bounds in the fourth quarter and isn’t having the same impact as he did for the Cavs right after the trade was completed. He was outplayed by Tristan Thompson, even though Thompson only managed to show up for seven minutes.
Kevin Love: F
Five points on 2-of-10 shooting? Yes, Love was out of rhythm after picking up two fouls early, but he didn’t have any impact on offense, was routinely complaining to the referees and didn’t sprint back on defense. Love was getting killed on the pick-and-roll action against Oladipo and seems to be out sorts. The Cavs will need their second-best player to live up to his billing, or they may not see another series.