The Cleveland Cavaliers set NBA Finals records for most points in a single quarter and most points in a single half when they put up 49 on the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter of Game 4 and tallied 86 in the first half.
The Cavs led the Warriors 49-33 at the end of the first period, and 86-68 at halftime. The 154 combined points were also an NBA Finals record for a single half.
In addition to the scoring records, the Cavs set a Finals record for 3-pointers in a half with 13, topping the mark the Warriors set two days earlier in Game 3.
The 86-point half was also the highest-scoring first half in NBA playoff history, breaking the Dallas Mavericks’ record of 83 in 2003 in a 132-110 victory over the Sacramento Kings. The Cavs came one point shy of the playoff record for highest scoring half, set by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1978 when they scored 87 in the second half of a 143-112 win over the Denver Nuggets.
The 49-point quarter was the highest-scoring quarter in any playoff game since 1991, when the Warriors had 49 points in the fourth quarter of a 130-121 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. The playoff record for points in a single quarter is 51, recorded by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1962 against the Detroit Pistons.
The Cavs stormed out of the gate despite a 3-0 deficit in the series. Kevin Love hit three 3-pointers and led all scorers with 14 points in the first quarter. Kyrie Irving hit a couple of ridiculous jumpers, and had 11 in the first. LeBron James had only eight points, but had six assists over the first 12 minutes.
Incredibly, the Cavs reached 49 despite missing eight free throws in the first quarter. The Warriors were whistled for 12 fouls. James had three of the eight misses, but converted a three-point play early on that pushed him past Michael Jordan and into third place on the all-time NBA Finals scoring list:
The reason the Cavs were able to get to 49 in the first: They hit seven of their 12 3-point attempts, and scored on 23 of their 28 possessions, per John Schuhmann of NBA.com. They had five offensive rebounds, including three from Tristan Thompson.
Cleveland wasn’t quite as prolific as a team in the second quarter, but Irving was even better. He had 17 in the second, giving him a whopping 28 points for the half. James had 14 in the second quarter and 22 in the half overall. Love hit another 3-pointer late in the second to give the Cavs the record.
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