DEJA VU. I felt like I’ve seen Kevin Durant rise up and hit a big three to silence the Cleveland crowd in a Game 3 before? Durant’s made trey was a backbreaker, but the other 40 points he scored is what captured headlines. One of the league’s premier scorers put forth a vintage performance and as a result, the Dubs find themselves with a 3-0 series lead, just one win away from claiming back-to-back titles.
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THE fact that Golden State is on the verge of winning a chip is no surprise. Heading to Cleveland up 2-0 the pressure was off them and was well and truly on the home team. The Cavs started strongly and weathered the inevitable GSW storm to maintain a lead at quarter time. LeBron was getting handy contributions from his teammates and Rodney Hood even looked like he could basketball again.
CLEVELAND conceded a few late baskets in the half which ate into their advantage, but still, they were up to start the third. Led by Kevin Durant the Warriors flipped the switch, taking the lead just minutes into quarter number three from their it was an arm wrestle to try and stay in front but throughout KD kept pouring it on. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggled to get it going leaving Durant to do a lot of heavy lifting and with the game in the balance late we all knew who was going to demand the ball down the stretch. Durant’s cold-blooded, game-sealing three with under a minute left summarised the game in a nutshell, Cleveland was close, but Durant was just too damn good.
SOMEWHAT unfairly Durant hasn’t been getting a ton of attention these Finals, with the story revolving around LeBron and his ‘teammates’. KD has been pretty awesome for most of the postseason and we were all reminded just how good he can be when he wants to turn it on. A playoff career-high 43 points couldn’t have come at a better time for Golden State either, with Curry and Thompson combining to shoot just 7-27 including 3-15 from behind the arc.
THERE isn’t a lot else that can be said. As a fan of the team who has seen two winnable games slip through our fingers I feel deflated and bummed out. We all knew that Golden State was the better team this year and a sweep in the Finals was always on the cards. To be so agonisingly close and still come up short against this team hurts though. Before the Finals tipped off a lot of people wondered if Golden State was beatable and Cleveland has proved that they are. They just don’t have enough talent to take them down.
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THERE have been positives for the Ohio franchise this series, but at the end of the day LeBron is just one person. They now need to pull off the impossible if they are going to win the title. Don’t hold your breath. It was promising to see Rodney Hood contribute, with 15 points off the bench in his first meaningful minutes this Finals. Kevin Love and George Hill have been fine for Cleveland as well, however, they lack the star power they needed to come through down the stretch. Kyrie Irving would be really handy right about now…
SO far we have seen peak LeBron (Game 1), peak Curry (Game 2) and now peak Durant (Game 3) with each performance as captivating as the rest of them. Unfortunately for Cavs fans the series ledger doesn’t sit at 2-1 as it probably should and instead another loss from here on out ends Cleveland season and maybe LBJ’s tenure as a Cav. FYI teams trailing 0-3 in a series are 0-131 all time and 0-13 in the Finals. Your move LeBron.
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