Ideal shot: Durant's late 3 gives Warriors 3-0 Finals lead
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 17:48
With their 15th straight win, the Warriors have the longest postseason streak for any team in the four major professional sports. Including the loss in Game 3, Cleveland is 3-7 SU and ATS in its last 10 games as a home underdog.
Golden State is now on the verge of winning its second championship in three seasons over Cleveland and becoming the first team in National Basketball Association history to go through the playoffs undefeated.
It was nearly exactly at the midway point of the first quarter, and LeBron James was caught out of position after a Warriors offensive rebound.
If not for their meltdown a year ago, the Warriors, whose record-setting 73-win season got lost in the Finals aftermath, would be looking for a third straight crown.
They're just not good enough to beat what may be one of the NBA's best teams ever.
"I lay it all on the floor", James said, "and I did that tonight, gave everything that I had, both mentally and physically". "But we gave a great effort, and the result just didn't turn out the way we wanted to".
The Cavaliers stars played exceptionally well Wednesday night. The Warriors finished with an 11-0 run to steal the victory and all but assure themselves of taking Cleveland's title.
For most of the night, and after three days' worth of discussion about how these NBA Finals were unofficially over, it was a reminder that LeBron James & Co. were the ones who pulled off the most improbable comeback in league history this time a year ago. "I said it after we won the Eastern Conference Finals that we're getting ready for a juggernaut. I thought our team scrapped and competed, but they made the plays that they needed".
LeBron James leads the Cavaliers with 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting and Kyrie Irving has 17 points. Curry, who has benefited more than any other player by Durant's arrival and is healthy in these Finals, added 13 rebounds and six assists.
Showing off his ability to spin in shots high off the backboard, Irving scored 16 in the third quarter and the Cavs held the Warriors to 22 points in their lowest scoring output in any quarter in this postseason.
But if Cleveland can find its three-point shot to help take some of the pressure on offense off LeBron James, it could at least avoid a sweep and send this series back to Golden State. James played 45 minutes and nearly the entire second half. They were forced into some tough shots and also missed some open looks.
"We talked about it since the Finals last year that the last season was a very unique year, for a lot of different reasons, and we learned a lot", Curry said. I mean, it was just, Lets just have some fun playing ball, lets just all get better and lets see what happens.. But I was able to get second and third and fourth winds. "And just we obviously - we want 16 wins; it doesn't matter how we get there. We missed some shots, and they made some".
The Cavaliers might have beaten anybody else the way they played, just as they did in Game 3 of last year's Finals and as they did while rolling into the Finals with a 12-1 record.
The Golden State Warriors made no promises and he knew there were no guarantees. He delivered another performance that reminded everyone he remains the NBA's best player.