The pair combined for just 21 points in Game 3, but it hardly mattered thanks to a career playoff-high 43 points by Durant on 15-for-23 shooting and 6-for-9 on 3s.
The NBA Finals are all but over with the Golden State Warriors owning a commanding 3-0 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Durant is coming off a brilliant performance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night. Green and Tristan Thompson, who have tangled all series, were both slapped with technical following an exchange in the first quarter.
“I mean, I just love that support from my teammates”, Durant said, “and I think we all just support each other in a real – with a real childlike approach to the game”. And, when the Warriors won the title in five games a year ago, Irving did demand a trade, and Griffin didn’t receive a new contract. Cleveland would finish the third down 83-81. Even with two of the best marksmen in the world struggling to hit anything, Golden State made the big plays when it counted.
The 12-point margin represented the biggest lead of the series for the Cavaliers at the time.
That won’t stop us from contemplating how a sweep in Cavs-Warriors IV impacts the league.
As a team, the Cavaliers shot 40-92 (44%) from the field and 9-31 (29%) from beyond the arc. “You guys asked me this last year”, James said at the postgame presser when asked what separates the Warriors of the past two years from the Warriors of 2015 and ’16. “And Kevin was the story in the second half, closing it out”.
Golden State will now have four chances to wrap up its title starting with Game 4 tonight.
“Holding Steph to 11 points and Klay to 10, you would think you would win that game”. This is really where it starts if Cleveland hopes to win a game this time around. Compiling a stat line of 43 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, he was something straight out of a Terminator movie. Nothing the Cavs did even slowed him down.
James, still focused on the opponent in front of him, lauded the Warriors.
After Durant, the rest of the Warriors had pedestrian nights. Shaun Livingston, Jordan Bell, JaVale McGee and Nick Young have taken turns, as well, with middling or less success. Next year, Boston will add Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward – two All-Star players – back into the fold. Any of them can have a bad game.
James became just the second player in history with 30 Finals losses, joining Jerry West.
Same goes for the Rockets, who had a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals before Chris Paul’s injury. George Hill had five points, four assists, and four turnovers. Andre Iguodala returned to the court and chipped in with eight points in 22 minutes of action. “But we’ve got to come out and got to play 48 minutes”. The games have been (somewhat) competitive, but the series. not so much. So the guys did a good job on those two guys.
His 6-foot-8 height makes him a tough defender to beat, and he has the athleticism to stick close to smaller guards. Neither contest resulted in a victory for the Cavs, making it hard to believe that the series will last beyond Friday night’s Game 4. Stephen Curry was the Warriors’ second-leading scorer, netting 11 points. Just a different vibe around the team, around just – everything’s just different.
“I mean, it’s nearly like playing the Patriots, you can’t have mistakes”, LeBron said. That’s not almost enough against an all-time great team.