The Cleveland Cavaliers did not score a point over the final three-plus minutes, and a late spurt from small forward Kevin Durant gave the Golden State Warriors a 118-113 victory in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday night.
If Golden State wins these NBA Finals over Cleveland in four or five games, the Warriors - 81-15 this season going into Wednesday night - would finish with the second-best single-season winning percentage in league history (including all games, regular season and playoffs).
The Warriors have now won 15 games in a row.
If they can win game four, the Warriors will become the first team in history to go through an entire National Basketball Association post-season without dropping a game.
Durant, who is chasing his first National Basketball Association championship, buried the go-ahead three-pointer over James with 45.3 seconds remaining, and made two foul shots with 12.9 seconds to go make it 116-113.
Durant, seeking his first career title after joining the Warriors from Oklahoma City last July, and Curry scored on drives to the hoop to pull Golden State within two. And I seen him backing up, and I just wanted to take that shot. Kyrie Irving added 38 for the Cavs, who took a 113-107 lead with 3:09 left on J.R. Smith's 3-pointer.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving combined for 77 points, and James rested only two minutes the entire game. But to say we're up 2-0, (so) we're good?
James, Kyrie Irving Kevin Love are going to play an important role for Cavs while Curry and Durant will be eager to continue their form in Game 3 as well. "For that one to go in, that was liberating right there". Their 39 points in Wednesday's opening period followed 40 in Game 2 and 35 in Game 1.
That allowed Golden State to wind up leading 39-32 after one; it finished the quarter with a 10-0 run with James on the bench for the final 109 seconds.
They did past year, coming home after losing the first two by a combined 48 points and beginning the turnaround with a 120-90 rout in Game 3. The difference is obviously Kevin Durant, who has been having a transcendent series thus far. The first two games of this year's Finals suggest that it was his addition to the Warriors that created the mismatch and allegedly made the finals boring. "I gave everything that I had, so at times throughout the game I was exhausted, but that's just because I was just playing as hard as I could". Everyone complains about him signing with the Warriors, while simultaneously mocking them for losing in 2016. James played all but 2:23 - when he sat the final 1:49 of the first quarter the Cavs went from up three to down seven.
But unlike the previous two games, he got some significant contributions from others - specifically Irving. In Game 2, James recorded a triple-double, scoring 29 points, with 11 rebounds and 14 assists. The crowd erupted. But the Cavaliers couldn't close it out.
The less-heralded Splash Brother made 4-of-5 threes in the first for an early game-high 16 points. James became the first player to appear in 20 or more Finals games with two franchises. James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are doing their part, but Cleveland's Big 3 isn't getting enough support.