Warriors one win away
Kevin Durant has all but ended Cleveland’s season for the second year in a row. His Game 3 performance was one of the best of his career and Golden State are now just one win from their third title in four years.
43 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. He continually punished any Cavaliers player matched up against him, his coup de grâce a deep three-pointer that put the Warriors up by six with less than 50 seconds remaining.
Similar to his made three in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals, Durant’s triple breaks Cleveland hearts and gives them a chance to sweep the Cavaliers on their own court.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined to shoot just three-of-15 from beyond the arc, but it mattered little as Durant was just that good.
LeBron James had his first triple-double of the Finals with 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds but was hampered with a rolled right ankle, unable to have his usual impact late as the Warriors left with the 110-102 win.
Cleveland started on fire, hitting two straight threes to open the game before James threw an alley-oop to himself off the backboard that produced the highlight of the night.
But as Golden State are famous for, they took the Cavs punches and held firm. Down by 12 at one stage, they cut the lead to just one at the first break.
The Cavaliers were on top in the second quarter, Kevin Love (20 points) and J.R. Smith (13 points) providing a much-needed spark with a combined 25 points but failed to close the quarter again as the Warriors cut the Cavs lead to just six points at the half.
Golden State turned the half time deficit into a two-point three quarter time lead as they took over in the third, Durant continuing to score on whoever the Cavaliers switched onto defend him.
The final quarter was closely contested, both sides hitting tough shots to keep the game with three points for much of the fourth.
Rodney Hood, much maligned for most of the playoffs, came alive and finished with 15 points for the Cavs, six coming in the fourth quarter.
But it wasn’t enough.
Curry hit his only three for the game late and Durant could not be stopped, finishing the Cavs with his late dagger three.
Golden State has an opportunity to sweep Cleveland for the second straight Finals. The Cavs will need a Herculean performance from James and consistent play from Love, Smith and other Cleveland role players if they are to force a Game 5.
Should Durant replicate his play in Game 4, he will be on his way to winning his second consecutive Finals MVP award.