Warriors Top Cavaliers to Move One Win From Perfection

Vincent De Villiers
Junho 9, 2017

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with teammates after the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-113 in Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

The Warriors would become the first team to make an unbeaten playoff run to the crown by winning game four Friday in Cleveland.

James had 27 points in the first half; Irving had 21 points in the second.

And with a win in Game 4 on Friday night, Golden State can exorcise those haunting demons from past year when the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals to the Cavaliers. Durant got the accolades. along with his first Finals road victory. Durant scored 31 in Game 3 and is averaging 34 points for the series.

But rather than fretting about the talent on the other end of the floor, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said his team simply need to focus on not turning the ball over or letting the Warriors get out in transition.

Warriors: Golden State's nine 3-pointers in the first quarter broke the previous Finals mark held by five teams, most recently the Warriors in 2015. But history turned to infamy when they blew a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers, the biggest collapse in NBA Finals history. "This is probably the most firepower I've played in my career", James stated, "...

They look ready to play for many more.

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James, who left Cleveland in 2010 to join All-Stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami, said he doesn't begrudge the Warriors for signing Kevin Durant and adding him to a roster that already had Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

In fact, a Game 5 in Oakland alone comes close to paying Steph Curry's salary for the entire 2016-17 season: $12.1 million. It's nearly been akin to a cold war: Fans and analysts having been judging which one of the two is the greatest basketball player in the world while getting to see them match up only once or twice a year in relatively low-stakes environments. In fact, according to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, the hope was because both players were so hot that at some point they'd get exhausted of carrying their team.

And maybe fatigue played a part in the Warriors' rally, though James didn't think so even after playing 46 minutes. G Deron Williams has missed each of his 11 shots in the series.

"We all bring a little something different to the table and the pieces of that puzzle fit really well", Curry said.

"I've never been in this position, trying to close it out". But I was able to get second and third and fourth winds. "So I think that's a luxury that we have with KD here, and when I went out with foul trouble, obviously he - to say pick up the slack is kind of a ridiculous term, because he's a great player, an MVP, one of the best players in the world. We missed some shots, and they made some".

The Cavs led with just over three minutes remaining before Golden State went on an 11-0 run to finish game three.

There was still time left on the clock when James walked off the court in frustration. He delivered another performance that reminded everyone he remains the NBA's best player.

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