FINAL: 118-113 Warriors: The Cavaliers were oh so close to getting back in the NBA Finals with a win on home court, but Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors made sure that didn’t happen.
The Warriors closed the game on an 11-0 run and took Game 3 118-113. As a result, Golden State now has a commanding 3-0 series lead with Game 4 coming up Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Durant led the Warriors with 31 points, and he also had eight rebounds. Klay Thompson (30 points) and Stephen Curry (26 points, 13 rebounds) also had big games. LeBron James finished with 39 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, while Kyrie Irving had 38 points.
The Warriors have opened the NBA playoffs 15-0. Broom time for the entire playoffs?
Fourth quarter, 9.6, 118-113 Warriors: LeBron James couldn’t get a shot off, and he turned the ball over. Stephen Curry then made two free throws.
Fourth quarter, 0:12, 116-113 Warriors: Kevin Durant struck again with a 3-pointer to give Golden State the lead. He then made two free throws for his 30th and 31st points of the night.
Fourth quarter, 1:15, 113-111 Cavs: Kevin Durant cut the Warriors’ deficit even more with a nice jumper after driving into the paint. The Cavs called a timeout afterward.
Fourth quarter, 1:27, 113-109 Cavs: J.R. Smith made a clutch 3-pointer to make it a six-point lead for Cleveland. Stephen Curry followed with a layup to cut the Warriors’ deficit to four.
Fourth quarter, 3:43, 110-107 Cavs: LeBron James made two free throws to put Cleveland up 110-107 before the next timeout. James has 39 points. Kyrie Irving has 38.
Fourth quarter, 4:45, 108-107 Cavs: Kevin Durant hit a long 3-pointer to make it 104-102 Cavs, but Kyrie Irving continued to make ridiculous shots and upped Cleveland’s lead back up to six with a wild and-1.
The fun continued with a Klay Thompson 3-pointer, which made it a one-point game.
Fourth quarter, 6:30, 104-99 Cavs: Kevin Durant scored four straight points for the Warriors to make it 102-99. Those points came via two free throws and a layup. But he also was called for an offensive foul after a LeBron James bucket put the Cavs back up by five.
Fourth quarter, 8:33, 102-95 Cavs: It didn’t take LeBron James very long to add some more points, as he answered a Klay Thompson dunk with a 3-pointer to make it 97-91 with 10:37 remaining.
Kyle Korver made the Cavs’ second 3-pointer of the quarter to make it 100-95, but the Warriors have created some easy buckets for themselves on the offensive end.
Draymond Green also is up to five fouls. Kevin Durant will shoot two free throws after the TV timeout.
Now, let’s take this chance to admire what Irving did in the third quarter.
End third quarter, 94-89 Cavs: The Cavs went on a 9-1 run to take a 94-87 lead, and Kyrie Irving was a big reason why. He upped his points total to 33, and he had 16 in the third quarter. It truly was a dazzling display from Irving.
And don’t forget about LeBron James, who’s up to 32 points.
The third quarter had been a killer for the Cavs in the first two games, but they outscored the Warriors by 11 this time around.
Third quarter, 6:25, 79-78 Warriors: Stephen Curry has the Warriors back in the lead. He now has 20 points and is 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
Kyrie Irving, meanwhile, is tied with LeBron James with 27 points thanks to plays like this one:
Third quarter, 8:59, 71-69 Cavs: Kevin Love hit a 3-pointer to give the Cavs a lead, which is something that’s been rare for them so far in the NBA Finals.
Third quarter, 9:37, 69-68 Warriors: The Cavs have started the third quarter on a quick 7-2 run to cut their deficit to one point. Kyrie Irving already has four points on a pair of 2-point baskets, and J.R. Smith added a 3-pointer.
Draymond Green, meanwhile, picked up his fourth foul, and Zaza Pachulia had a rough start to the quarter with some curious decisions.
Halftime, 67-61 Warriors: The first half is in the books, and Golden State is just 24 game minutes away from a commanding 3-0 series lead in the NBA Finals.
LeBron James did his best in the first half to make sure that won’t happen, as he led all scorers with 27 points. But he’ll need more help from his teammates in the second half.
And James made history in the first half, too.
The Warriors set a record with their nine first-quarter 3-pointers, and they continued their hot shooting in the second. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson stretched Golden State’s lead to eight, but Kyrie Irving cut two points from Cleveland’s deficit with an acrobatic shot at the buzzer.
Thompson continued to lead the Dubs with 21 points, and the Warriors also finished the half with a 21-6 advantage in assists.
Second quarter, 2:11, 57-53 Warriors: Surprise! Draymond Green got a technical.
Second quarter, 3:23, 55-49 Warriors: Golden State had stretched its lead to six points thanks to an emphatic Kevin Durant dunk before the timeout.
Stephen Curry had a nice stretch as well, and he got a key steal against LeBron James and splashed in a 3-pointer.
Kyrie Irving, meanwhile, has had a slow start, but he had a nice play of his own, too.
One of the key stats so far has been assists, which Golden State leads 19-6.
Second quarter, 7:01, 46-45 Warriors: Make that 23 points for LeBron James, who made a nice reverse layup before the latest TV timeout.
He’s going to need some help from his teammates at some point, though.
Second quarter, 8:56, 46-43 Warriors: LeBron James is up to 21 points, but the Warriors lead by three at the TV timeout.
Second quarter, 10:22, 41-40 Warriors: So, Kyle Korver dunked. That is a real thing that happened.
Start second quarter, 39-32 Warriors: A LeBron James shot was changed to a 3-pointer, making it a seven-point lead for Golden State at the start of the second. The second quarter is underway.
And there was this note from the first quarter for the Warriors:
End first quarter, 39-31 Warriors: The Cavs and Warriors were locked in a close game throughout the first quarter, but Stephen Curry provided a little breathing room at the end of the frame with two straight 3-pointers. Golden State finished the first on a 10-0 run once LeBron James went to the bench with just under two minutes remaining.
Klay Thompson led all scorers with 16 points, and LeBron James wasn’t far behind with 15 points.
First quarter, 2:58, 27-27: Klay Thompson has 16 points thanks to four 3-pointers, but LeBron James almost single-handily is keeping his team in the game with 15 points.
First quarter, 5:48, 19-19: LeBron James and Tristan Thompson collided, and James immediately went down to the court. The Cavs called a timeout.
James came right back on the court after the timeout.
First quarter, 7:01, 17-13 Cavs: LeBron James is feeling it early. He leads all scorers early with nine points as we head to the first commercial break. It’s been a high-scoring affair so far, and while the Warriors currently trail, the pace might be good news for Golden State in the long run.
First quarter, 10:22, 6-5 Warriors: The Cavs jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Warriors on the board.
First quarter, 12:00, 0-0: The Warriors have won the tip and Game 3 is underway.
9:05 p.m.: Here’s a look at the Game 3 starters for both teams.
PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Draymond Green
C: Zaza Pachulia
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: J.R. Smith
SF: LeBron James
PF: Kevin Love
C: Tristan Thompson
8:45 p.m.: The stars are out for Game 3.
6:30 p.m.: The Cleveland Cavaliers’ season can’t come to an end Wednesday night, but it might as well if the Golden State Warriors win again.
The Cavs face a 2-0 series deficit in the NBA Finals after getting blown out on the road in the first two contests. As a result, the Warriors are favored to take a commanding 3-0 series lead even with the shift to Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena for Game 3.
But the Cavaliers and Warriors have been here before. Golden State won the first two games of the 2016 NBA Finals and held an infamous 3-1 series lead before Cleveland’s historic comeback to win the title.
But, of course, the Warriors didn’t have Kevin Durant last year, and the new Golden State superteam might be too much for LeBron James and Co. to overcome.
Game 3 is set to tip off around 9 p.m. ET, and you can keep it right here for live updates, analysis and highlights throughout the contest.
Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images