Kevin Durant Drained The Biggest Shot Of His Life
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 09, 2017,
Jun 09, 2017, 0:55
The Warriors leaned on an 11-0 run late in the game to pull the rug on the defending champions. The last three minutes were spent on the wrong end of an 11-0 Warriors run, and what was in many ways a remarkable Cleveland performance will be remembered for the 180 seconds of crashing and burning that will surely cost the Cavaliers any chance to win a second consecutive titles. Kevin Durant got a baby jumper after driving on Tristan Thompson, who replaced Love after Love turned his ankle. He senses this is his time, his moment, his team.
As Stephen Curry approached to set a screen and his other teammates spaced the court, Durant took advantage of a little extra space between himself and James, walking straight into a three-pointer that he launched from a full step beyond the line and over the four-time MVP who has loomed over him throughout his career. I don't contribute as losing this game because we got exhausted.
"I've been wokring on that shot my whole life, and for that one to go in, that's liberating", the forward told ESPN's Doris Goodwin after the game. "I just felt like we just stayed with it, and eventually our defence kicked in". On Wednesday night, James moved up to fourth all-time in Finals scoring, passing Boston Celtics greats Sam Jones and Bill Russell and Elgin Baylor of the Lakers on the list.
"I knew I had to give LeBron at least a two-minute blow in that first quarter because in the second half he might not get a blow", Lue said. "I would be much smarter than that, than to tweet that at literally 12:04, right after the game". I don't want to relax.
Cleveland threw a flurry of punches, and Golden State withstood them. "I'm averaging a triple-double in the Finals". Durant (31 points), Curry (26 points) and Klay Thompson (30 points) combined for 87 points.
The Warriors knew it was coming and did not stop it.
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.
A year ago against Golden State, the Cavaliers became the first team to win the Finals after trailing three games to one.
Warriors: Golden State's nine 3-pointers in the first quarter broke the previous Finals mark held by five teams, most recently the Warriors in 2015.
Overall they didn't play as well as they did in the first two games of this series, but, led by Durant, they kept their composure when it mattered. This minute of basketball is exactly why the Warriors signed Kevin Durant. They were actually playing credible defense.