Durant Three-Pointer Puts Warriors Game Away from Title
31-points, eight-rebounds, and one dagger was the stat line of the second greatest basketball player in the world on Wednesday night as the Warriors took a commanding 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals.
The Cleveland Cavalier were leading throughout the final quarter on their home floor, yet despite a more favourable pace, it seemed like the Cavs were holding onto their slim lead by a thread. Then we just under 50-seconds remaining, after an ill-advised fadeaway jump shot from LeBron James, who was attacking the Warriors defense all night long, Kevin Durant sunk a massive three-pointer, giving the Warriors a lead they would not relinquish.
12 seconds to play in Game 3. CLE 🏀 pic.twitter.com/47VReSvRcC
— NBA (@NBA) June 8, 2017
A three right over ‘The King’.
Two free throws from Durant and two from Stephen Curry followed, and that was all she wrote as the Warriors pushed the Cavs to the brink of elimination, putting Cleveland into a hole they cannot possibly crawl out of this time around.
“(Durant) took over. You can tell, he knows this is his moment,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said following the Game 3 victory. “He’s been an amazing player in this league for a long time, and I think he’s — he senses this is his time, his moment, his team. When I say his team, I mean it’s not literally just his team, it’s we got a group around him that can help him and create space for him with the shooting and the play making, and I think he’s having the time of his life out there.”
While Durant has by far been the best player in the series from the group of stars that the Warriors boast, Klay Thompson came to life on the offensive end. Being vital on the other end of the floor, Thompson gave the Warriors the boost they needed behind his 30-points to allow Golden State to pull off the comeback. As for Curry, he did his usual thing scoring 26-points, dishing out six-assists, and securing 13-rebounds – once again brutally out-rebounding the Cavaliers’ near seven foot center.
LeBron James was dominant once again delivering a 39-point, 11-rebound, and nine assist performance, while shooting 56% from the field. Kyrie Irving added 38-points of his own, but with two-minutes remaining and the Cavaliers up 113-107, neither superstar was able to close out the win as the Warriors ended the game on a ridiculous 11-0 run.
“I gave everything that I had to this game, so I don’t look at it saying I wish I could have did this or I would have did that,” James said. “I left it out on the floor.”
Despite their best effort in this series to date, the Cavaliers were still unable to solve the fire power that is Golden State Warriors. The Cavs as a team shot 27.3% from long range, which of course didn’t help their cause, but at the end of the day, this was Cleveland’s big opportunity at getting back into the series, and they could not get it done.
This series may very well end in four, but either way, this Warriors team may be the best basketball team ever built and the Cavs are just another one of their victims.