Golden State Warriors 110 – Cleveland Cavaliers 102 (Warriors lead 3-0)
Last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers were trying desperately to avoid falling into a 0-3 hole. They were holding on to a two-point lead with less than a minute left in Game 3. Durant got the ball on the rebound brought the ball down. Before the Cavaliers could fix their defense, Durant stepped right into a pull-up three-pointer just as LeBron James faced up to defend him. The ball splashed right into the hoop and the Cavaliers couldn’t overcome the booming triple.
Fast forward to this year. The Golden State Warriors were looking to once again climb to a 3-0 lead. They made their way to Cleveland and faced up against the LeBron James and his band of Cavaliers.
The only problem was his teammates were off their games. After breaking the three-point record in Game 2 with nine treys, Curry missed his first nine attempts from beyond the arc in Game 3. Klay Thompson wasn’t much help either. He started out hitting only two of his first eight shots. Andre Iguodala was back but he still looked limited.
It was up to Durant to carry the Warriors in the game. Just like he did in Game 2, Durant started the game splashing his jumper from everywhere on the floor.
Unfortunately, Cleveland was also on fire from the field. James had a triple-double with 33 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. He attacked the basket relentlessly and even had a highlight dunk where he threw an alley-oop to himself. Kevin Love found his range and hit three treys in the game. The Cavaliers also found a spark off the bench in Rodney Hood who scored 15 points. Cleveland took a double-digit lead in the first half.
But Durant kept dropping jumpers to keep the Warriors in the game. He nailed a three-pointer from the top of the key to end the first half and cut the Cavaliers lead down to just four points. He had 24 points in the first half. Durant continued firing in the as the Warriors and Cavaliers traded leads in the second half.
With a minute left in the game, the Warriors were holding on to a three-point lead. Durant had the ball at the top of the key and waved off the screen from Curry. Hood stepped up to defend him as Durant motioned for a screen from Iguodala. He was about three feet away from the three-point line when he pulled up for a three-pointer right before Iguodala’s screen was set.
Just like Game 3 last year, the ball found the bottom of the net. That was the dagger that the Warriors needed to put the Cavaliers away for good this year.
Durant finished with 43 points on 65% shooting. He also had 13 rebounds and seven assists. His offense was enough to offset the bad night from the Splash Brothers. Curry finished with 11 points on 18% shooting. Thompson scored only 10 points at a 36% clip.
The Warriors look to finish off the Cavaliers in Game 4. They hope there won’t be deja vu in Game 4 as they look for a sweep. Something they weren’t able to do last season.