The difference between being down 3-1 and 3-0 in the NBA Finals, beyond the mathematical probabilities, is that Cleveland fans are dreaming more than just praying.

One win will do that. Entering Game 4 of the Finals on Friday night, the Cavaliers needed a miracle, which means The Almighty was put on red alert, readying for the kind of quickie request that typically accompanies commercial flying. You know, “Please, God, don’t let this thing go down.” Except in this case it was “Please let Golden State powder keg Draymond Green kick someone in the nether regions and get suspended.”

It worked. Sort of. Officials tossed Green by mistake, then unejected him. But then Zaza Pachulia went Zsa Zsa Gabor — she of the eight ex-husbands — on Iman Shumpert by punching the Cavs guard near his money pocket.

More on that in a minute, but back to dreaming for a moment. With Cleveland’s 137-116 win in Game 4, the “save us” prayers gave way to less-desperate measures. Suddenly, a Cavs comeback became the stuff of dreams.

My son the college student informed me Saturday morning that LeBron James had spoken to him in his sleep. The gist of it: The two were chillin’ together when Bron-Bron began giving a pep talk that got my millennial fired up enough to see the Cavs rallying to win the series in seven games.

“After listening to LeBron, I believe,” my 20-year-old said.

Obviously, the apple falls far from the tree here, because I have not climbed aboard the fantasy train. Not yet, anyway. I still do not think Cleveland stages the comeback.

Unless … and this is where we get back to Green, Pachulia and the weak-kneed Warriors. Golden State does not enjoy the rough stuff. Not that the Warriors can’t dish it out, but a more physical brand of basketball stresses them out.

But the Cavs cannot simply dream up some aggression. They must actually manifest it, as they did in rallying from a 3-1 hole last season. Several factors contributed to last June’s championship comeback, but 1A was how Cleveland turned up its in-your-face intensity. The Warriors, and especially Steph Curry, became uncomfortable in the last three games as the Cavs hounded him with bits of physical intimidation.

I do not suggest that Cleveland change itself into the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s and early ’90s. The Cavs should avoid going after Golden State groins and be careful not to tee off on anyone’s head, but why not squat on Curry and see how he likes it? He won’t, especially if it begins from the opening tip. More importantly, the Warriors as a group prefer beautiful basketball to the blacktop version.

Curry after Friday’s game: “We have to understand going forward that whoever is the aggressor to begin with sets the tone for the game, gets the pace to where you want it, and good things happen out of that.”

Added Warriors coach Steve Kerr: “The biggest thing was they brought a level of physicality that we did not match.”

To be clear, Cleveland does not win this series simply by making war instead of peace with Curry and company. The Cavs still need to nearly match the 53.3 percent conversion rate on three-point shots that they laid on Golden State in Game 4. But even if they make a ridiculous number of threes, they still lose — probably in Game 5 at Golden State on Monday — if nothing changes to prevent the Warriors from executing their lethal offense.

And the best prevention method is to put a body on Curry, Kevin Durant and Green. Curry will hate it. Durant won’t like it. And Green might respond with a verbal and physical outburst that gets him booted.

Don’t just shove back. Shove first. Maybe then I will believe, too.