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Can Matthew Dellavedova continue to shine for Cavaliers?

When Kyrie Irving went down for the remainder of the NBA Finals in Game 1, the Cleveland Cavaliers appeared to be doomed. Instead, Irving’s replacement, Matthew Dellavedova, has turned into something of a cult hero thanks to his performances in Games 2 and 3, two Cavaliers victories over the Golden State Warriors.

What’s funny is Delly looked completely overmatched in Game 1. He only played nine minutes and made zero impact. He was the target of plenty of jokes and scorn, and not many thought he’d be able to keep up with Stephen Curry moving forward in the series.

But Delly hasn’t just kept up with Curry, he’s played a big part in holding him down. Curry shot a wretched 5-of-23 overall and 2-of-15 from three in a Game 2 victory, and Delly’s physical, scrappy defense made it hard for the MVP to get open looks.

Delly’s strong defense carried over to Game 3, as Curry scored just three points in the first half. But in this game, the Aussie also brought the offense, scoring a playoff career-high 20 points in another tight victory. It wasn’t the most efficient 20 points, but they were all needed.



Delly also hit arguably the biggest shot of the game. After the Warriors had trimmed a 20-point deficit to just one late in the fourth quarter on a Curry three-pointer, Delly responded with a crazy three-point play to help stem the tide. After a Curry turnover, LeBron James buried a dagger three-pointer to help the Cavaliers grab a 2-1 series lead.

Will Delly be able to keep that magic going into Game 4? Curry went off in the fourth quarter of Game 3, and if he’s found his groove, Delly could be in for a long night. But don’t count out the gritty Aussie, who actually had to go to the hospital after Game 3 due to exhaustion and dehydration. He’s good to go for Thursday night, and he’ll again be counted on to slow down Curry and provide relentless energy.

Vegas is counting on Curry and the Warriors overcoming Delly and the Cavaliers in Game 4. Cleveland opened as a one-point favorite, but now Golden State is a three-point favorite at Bovada and a four-point favorite at several other sportsbooks.

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