LeBron James did all he could do to beat the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. The NBA superstar scored 39 points, while teammate Kyrie Irving was right behind with 38.
The Cavaliers played better than Golden State for much of the game, but during the final quarter things began to slip away from them.
Golden State won Games 1 and 2 easily at home and on Wednesday showed they are capable as well of winning games that come down to the wire.
One reason is off-season acquisition Kevin Durant. After playing a quiet game by his standards for the first three quarters, Durant showed the NBA world and its fans he is able to take the game into his hands and win.
Even allowing 77 points by James and Irving, Golden State showed it could remove those star players from the final outcome and at the same time take all the suspense out of this year’s NBA Finals.
With the 5-point win on Wednesday, the Warriors take a 3-1 lead into Game 4 on Friday and the only real suspense left is if they will sweep Cleveland in four or return to California and win Game 5 at home.
James said following the Game 3 loss that prior to the series starting his team knew what they were facing. He added that after they had won the Eastern Conference title they were going to face a huge task in the NBA Finals.
James said the Golden State team has more firepower than any team he has played against during his NBA career. He said he has faced great teams but none of them had the firepower that Golden State has this season.
A perfect example is the final 3:09 of the game in which Golden State outscored Cleveland 11-0. The run was helped by a pull-up three pointer by none other than off-season acquisition Durant that put the Warriors into the lead to stay.
If offense was not enough, the Warriors defense came up big with 10 seconds remaining when leading by three, Andre Iguodala knocked the ball loose from LeBron and James accidently knocked the ball out of bounds.
There is likely nothing that Cleveland can do at this point to win four straight and the title, with one reason being because it had never been accomplished from being behind 3-0 in an NBA Finals.
What can they do against a Warriors team that has Durant scoring over 30 points in each of the first three games of the Finals, Stephen Curry scoring 26 on Wednesday and Klay Thompson adding 31.