LeBron James: 'I gave everything I had' in Game 3 loss

But protecting the lead meant leaving Irving on the floor for the entire second half and James for all but a few seconds of it, and on the other bench Steve Kerr kept reminding his deeper Warriors that the Cavaliers were going to get exhausted.

Kerr knew what James knew before this series began when he wanted to bring in more fire power: that Kyrie and Bron-Bron can't do it all. The Cavs played an nearly flawless game and they still came up short, and that's hard for Cavs fans to admit, but it's true.

Durant scored a team-high 31 points for the Warriors, who will get a chance on Friday in Cleveland to become the first team to go unbeaten all the way to a title.

James shook off a knee-buckling blow to the chin while scoring 39 and Kyrie Irving added 38 for the Cavaliers, who took a 113-107 lead with 3:09 left on J.R. Smith's 3-pointer. Durant provided just what they needed after last year's Finals loss - a bona fide go-to bucket-getter - and the Warriors have provided just what Durant needed - a team so full of offensive weapons that he could focus on the other facets of his game. "We missed shots", he said.

"We want to play fast; we don't want to play in a hurry", Lue said.

Warriors: Golden State is the 13th team to take a 3-0 lead in Finals, and third since 1996. I've played against some great teams, but no team has had this kind of firepower.

After LeBron James and Kyrie Irving saw a combined 77-point night wasted in a 118-113 loss to the Golden State Warriors to fall down 3-0 in the NBA Finals, James said the Warriors possess "probably the most, most firepower I've played in my career". I don't [attribute] us losing this game because we got exhausted. We all knew it, of course, but Game 3 was worth the season-long criticisms about the Bay Area superteam. But you've got to get back to the drawing board. "Another challenge for us to get better and go against a great team". The Warriors can lock up their second National Basketball Association title in three years on Friday in Game 4 at the Q. Both those guys were fantastic, 38 and 39.

"I told him, 'I'm gonna be honest with you, my friend".

The Golden State Warriors are one win from a sweep, from revenge, from history.

"But it definitely hurts". So that's a great thing, but obviously we're not done yet. They have made a mockery of the competition and in the long run this may not be good for the league. KD comes down, hits a big 3, puts them up one, iso on the wing.

"It didn't look like it to me", Durant said.

After the Warriors went on a 10-0 run to end the first quarter with James on the bench, he played all but 34 seconds of the final three quarters.

"That was liberating right there", Durant said. "All I was looking at was the bottom of the net and I made sure my feet were behind the 3-point line".

As Kevin Durant ambled out of Quicken Loans Arena early Thursday morning, a little more than an hour after he'd moved himself and his Golden State Warriors to within one win of a championship, he took a moment to ponder what he'd just achieved.

And in Game 3, no one gave more support for James than Irving.

"It's an exciting time".

"It's physically and emotionally draining because I give everything to the game and want to put myself and my teammates in position to be successful", James said after the game. "But the job's not done".

"So we try to control the narrative and the conversations and just our talk in the locker room and in practice, especially the last three months of just understanding what our goal is and how we're going to get there day by day".

  • Julie Sanders