Cleveland, Ohio, USA: Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-102 for a commanding 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals at the Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night.
Kevin Durant dropped 43 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists together with 6 three-points-made in 9 attempts.
Durant scored 24 in the first half, when the Warriors attempted 13 free throws to zero for the Cavs, a disparity that induced further wrath on the officials from Cleveland fans still stinging from the now infamous reversed call in Game 1.
“That was amazing what he did out there tonight,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Some of those shots, I don’t think anybody in the world can hit those but him. He was incredible.”
The Golden State Warriors are one win away from their third title in four years.
LeBron recorded his 10th career NBA Finals triple-double but it was not enough in a Game 3 loss.
LeBron James scored 33 points and Kevin Love 20 for the Cavs, who have fallen into a hole in which no team has ever emerged.
The Cavs led 14-4 with 7:57 left in the first quarter, a complete flip from Game 2 when the Warriors jumped to a 15-6 lead with 8:12 left in the first quarter. The Cavaliers never recovered, even though more than 44 minutes remained.
The difference Wednesday was the Warriors chipped away at the Cavaliers’ lead and tied the score 26-26 on a pull-up jumper by Kevin Durant with 32.6 seconds left in the opening quarter.
The Cavaliers regained control in the second quarter by dominating the glass and playing smothering defense on Curry.
Curry scored 33 points and was 9-of-17 on 3-point attempts in Golden State’s 122-103 victory in Game 2. He had just two points in the first half of Game 3 and was 0-for-5 on 3-point attempts when the Warriors went to the locker room at halftime trailing 58-52. Curry finished with 11 points.
As they’ve done throughout the playoffs, the Warriors surged in the third quarter, outscoring the Cavaliers 31-23 to take an 83-81 lead into the fourth quarter. Durant scored 10 points in the third quarter.
LeBron (110) passes Michael Jordan (109) for most 30-point playoff games in NBA history. James (238) broke a tie with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and moved into fourth place for the most playoff games. Only Derek Fisher (259), Tim Duncan (251) and Robert Horry (244) have made most postseason appearances.
In NBA playoff history, teams down 3-0 are 0-131.
The Warriors won despite a 3-of-16 shooting performance from Stephen Curry.
Draymond Green passed Wilt Chamberlain (922) for the most rebounds in Warriors playoff history.
“We aren’t done playing basketball yet, so I don’t really look at these as defining moments, “Durant told reporters. “I don’t want to downplay anything, but I don’t want to act like this is the end of the road. So just get back to work tomorrow and figure out a better game plan.”
“I thought we did some things tonight that we need to correct if we want to win next game. I’m really just trying to come in and trying to be the best player and teammate I can be until this thing is over. I just gotta to stay locked in.”
“It’s definitely a tough loss,” James said. “We had our chances. We have another opportunity on Friday to win on our home floor. We have been pretty good [there] in the postseason. That’s a good thing for us. We have an opportunity to extend the series. But we have to come out and play 48 minutes.”
NBA Finals Schedule
Game 1: Thu, May 31 6:00pm, Oakland (Oracle Arena) Golden State Warriors WIN
Game 2: Sun, June 3 Oakland (Oracle Arena) Golden State Warriors WIN
Game 3: Wed, June 6 – 6:00pm, Cleveland, (Quicken Loans Arena) Golden State Warriors WIN
Game 4: Fri, June 8 6:00pm, Cleveland, (Quicken Loans Arena)
Game 5: Mon, June 11 – 6:00pm, Oakland (Oracle Arena)*
Game 6 Thu,june 14 – 6:00pm, Cleveland, (Quicken Loans Arena)*
Game7 Sun, June 17 – 5:00pm, Oakland (Oracle Arena)*
*if Necessary, All Times Pacific