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NBA Finals

NBA Finals 2019: Draymond Green: 'I've been on the wrong side of 3-1 before, why not make our own history?'

The Toronto Raptors came away with another road win at Oracle Arena to take a 3-1 lead over the Golden State Warriors, placing them one win away from an NBA title.

This series returns back to Toronto for Game 5, and 3-1 in the NBA Finals does not typically have a happy ending for the team trailing.

Teams leading 3-1 in the NBA Finals are 33-1 all-time in closing out the series. The Warriors, however, are familiar with this situation - the only team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit in The Finals was the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, defeating the Warriors to win the title.

Golden State blowing a 3-1 lead in The Finals has been a running joke amongst NBA stakeholders for the last three years. Now, a very similar group of players that allowed that '16 Cavs team to make history has a chance to land on the brighter side of history this time around.

"We've been on the wrong end of 3-1 before, why not make our own history?" Draymond Green preached in his post-game press conference following the Game 4 loss.

Stephen Curry advanced that notion when asked about what he learned and what his team can draw from that haunting experience in 2016.

"That it's not over," Curry stated firmly. "It's not a good feeling right now, obviously, but like you said, we have been on both sides of it. And for us it's an opportunity for us to just flip this whole series on its head, and you got to do it one game at a time."

He acknowledged how cliché it sounds, but Curry's positive his teammates are keeping their heads up. "In our locker room we're talking about believing, everybody out there believes that we can get this done."

And why wouldn't they? They're the most dominant team the NBA has seen in well over a decade and, they have one of the best players in the world in Kevin Durant potentially on the brink of return.

Head coach Steve Kerr sounded optimistic in his pregame press conference, stating he hopes Durant can play in Game 5 or 6. With Game 5 now being a win-or-go-home affair, it could be now or never for the All-Star forward.

Should Durant play in Game 5, there will surely be some rust to shake off since his last in-game action was over a month ago. But if he can return to even half of the player he was in this playoffs prior to the calf injury, he'll be able to shake things up a bit, especially on the offensive end where the Warriors have struggled mightily these past two games.

The path to overcoming this deficit is identical to the comeback the Warriors allowed in 2016 - they're in need of a road win in Game 5, defending home court in Game 6 and playing by the often-used motto in sports, "anything can happen in Game 7", having to complete said comeback on the road in front of a rocking Scotiabank Arena crowd.

The Raptors aren't celebrating yet by any means though - they're well aware there's still business to be taken care of.

"We still haven't done anything yet," Kyle Lowry stated when asked about why the Raptors weren't celebrating or smiling after the Game 4 win. Kawhi Leonard echoed that, "... It doesn't matter until you get that fourth win. We just have to stay confident in ourselves, be patient, don't try to rush things, and see how it plays out."

Game 4's breakout performer Serge Ibaka was a part of the 2015 Oklahoma City Thunder team that blew a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals to the Warriors, so he knows from experience that there is still work to be done, "Against this team, this ain't over yet. I've been there before, 3-1 is nothing for them."

ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth noted how quiet and reserved the Raptors locker room was despite being one win away from winning a championship.

You have one team trying to recreate history - history that was made against them just three years ago. You have another team that's poise is unmatched, ready to get back to work to finish business and knock off a reigning dynasty.

The series may be a lopsided 3-1, but we're still in for a treat for Game 5, that's for sure.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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