Durant-led rally brings Warriors to brink of history
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 09, 2017,
Jun 09, 2017, 2:40
However, they turned things around and prevailed 118-113 in Game 3, meaning if they win the next one, they will be crowned champions.
For the Cavaliers, a win would be the first step toward becoming the first National Basketball Association team to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the Finals.
The biggest acquisition of the offseason had 14 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, taking over in the final minutes.
"When I say his team, I mean it's not literally just his team, it's that we've got a group around him that can help him and create space for him with the shooting and the playmaking, and I think he's having the time of his life out there".
The Cavs tried to answer, but Kyle Korver's 3-point attempt missed, the rebound going to none other than Durant, who went sprinting into the frontcourt, firing a 3-pointer over LeBron James that bottomed, giving the Warriors their first lead since late in the third quarter.
No team has ever gone 15-0 in any postseason of the four main professional sports.
"It's the most firepower I've played in my career", said James, who played all but two minutes.
Thompson missed the only shot he took and pulled down only three rebounds. "It wasn't our smartest game we played all year, but it was maybe our toughest in terms of our ability to just hang in there".
James and Irving were relentless in the second half and it appeared they had done enough to get Cleveland over the top and perhaps back in the series.
It was the best game we've seen in a long time.
After J.R. Smith drained a 3-pointer with 3:09 left for a 113-107 advantage, the Cavs missed eight shots.
Andre Iguodala sealed the deal on the other end of the court with a block on LeBron James that might have stolen Cleveland's collective will to carry on. After struggling, at least by his standards, in both games in Oakland, Irving was back to his explosive self.
Smith made five 3-pointers and scored 16 points, and Kevin Love gutted his way to nine points and 13 rebounds on a night he shot just 1 for 9.
That lead held until there was 2:19 remaining, when Golden State superstar Curry found two points with a drive to the basket.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were so much better than in the previous two games. The Warriors went 16 of 33 from beyond the arc for the game.
James was knocked flat in the first quarter, when he accidentally got blasted in the chin by teammate Tristan Thompson's shoulder. James shook it off, got up and slowly walked to the bench, and moments later drove for a layup.
Kevin. Durant. Cold. Blooded. And it looked like that was exactly what was going to happen, with the Cavaliers up 113-111 with just over a minute left to play. Thompson followed up his 22-point performance in Game 2 with 16 points in the first quarter of Game 3, going 5 for 7 from the field and 4 for 5 from three-point range as the Warriors set an NBA Finals record by burying nine three-pointers in the first quarter. Urban Meyer, Ohio State football coach and friend of James, and PGA Tour star Bubba Watson were among the celebrities on hand.