Golden State one win away from National Basketball Association glory after downing Cavs again
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 09, 2017,
Jun 09, 2017, 16:26
James, who is averaging a triple-double in the 2017 Finals (32 points, 12.3 rebounds, 10.3 assists), and the Cavs edged the Warriors in Game 7 a year ago after falling behind 3-1, becoming the first team to ever overcome such a deficit in the Finals.
Cleveland, who suffered a pair of lopsided losses to open the series, looked like they were about to finally beat the Warriors after leading the game for much of the second half.
James led the way for Cleveland with 39 points.
The top-seeded and undefeated Warriors, who can close out a ideal postseason run on Saturday morning (HK time), boast a slew of weapons, most notably two-time reigning league MVP Stephen Curry and four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant. If the Cavs lose during Friday's Game 4, James would suffer a 4-0 sweep for the second time in his Finals career (after getting routed by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007) and go 3-5 overall with his three championships coming in 2012, 2013 and 2016.
Swingman Klay Thompson got a crucial defensive stop on Irving with less than 30 seconds to go that sealed the game for the Warriors.
Durant and his fellow Christian Stephen Curry are leading the Warriors team in this year's NBA Playoffs.
The Cavaliers got 29 points, 11 rebounds, 14 assists, three steals and one blocked shot from James, as well as 27 and 19 points from power forward Kevin Love and point guard Kyrie Irving, respectively.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to repeat as champions, they'll have to do something no National Basketball Association team has ever done: Rally from a 3-0 series deficit.
In the first two games, Irving shot 40 percent. He would have had a triple-double and picked up a win if Kyle Korver had hit a late 3-pointer.
According to ESPN's research, the first two games of the series were played at a faster pace - possessions per minutes - than any of James' previous 212 playoff games.
In an interview with BeyondUltimate.com, Durant said: "the Bible both pumps me up and balances me to play my best".
In Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals on Wednesday, it was LeBron trying to salvage a series with an extraordinary, singular performance. "And I think when you get guys playing 45, 44 minutes, basically attacking one-on-one the whole game, it's - you hope eventually it's going to take its toll". "I can't be disappointed with the effort and how we played, but they made the plays down the stretch that we didn't execute defensively or offensively, and they took advantage of it".
Now you get the basic plot for the Warriors in postseason Game 3s before this season.
Thompson missed the only shot he took and pulled down only three rebounds. It was clear that, no matter how exhausted he got, Cleveland was going to need James on the court for the duration to have any chance of winning.
For the purposes of this exercise, we'll use FiveThirtyEights ELO ratings, which measures teams across all eras ( full explainer here). "We're going to come in tomorrow, watch some film, see ways we can get better and just try to take it one game at a time".
"I just tried to stay disciplined in my shot, hold my follow through, and it went in", Durant said.
Thus far in the series, the Warriors have had too much firepower, too many weapons.