LeBron facing final game with Cavs after Warriors’ Game 3 win?
CLEVELAND — Kevin Durant pushed the Golden State Warriors to dynasty’s doorstep.
LeBron James may be in the exit door.
Durant scored 43 points, draining a lengthy 3-pointer in the last minute to cap his magnificent performance, along with the Warriors beat James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 110-102, in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night to move within a victory of a sweep, their second straight title and third championship in four decades.
And Cleveland may be down to one final game with James, who listed his 10th triple-double from the finals. The three-time winner can opt from his $35.6 million deal and examine free agency this summer, and it may be time for the 33-year-old to locate a team capable of beating the Warriors.
These Cavs can not find it out.
CBSSports.com’s Kyle Boone writes,”There’ll be endless banter about where free-agent-to-be LeBron James decides to sign when he chooses to leave Cleveland. However one destination, the Los Angeles Lakers, has been the most talked landing spot for the celebrity for quite a while now.”
With the Cavs down 103-100, Durant stood and almost motionless after dropping his 33-footer – nearly from the same spot from where he hit one in Game 3 last year – and effectively ended the fourth consecutive finals matchup between two teams who have gotten to know each other well because 2015.
After Durant scored, Stephen Curry and Draymond surrounded Durant and screamed at their teammate, who calmly walked toward the seat.
“I attempted to only stay in the zone,” Durant said, acknowledging he was worried the Cavs could come back.
Durant said the similarity with last year’s shot – a second that helped define his first championship – did not happen to him.
“No, not at all,” he said of the contrast. “I just took the photo.”
There was nothing that the Cavs could do.
“It was like deja vu watching him hit that shot again,” Cavs ahead Kevin Love said.
Golden State will now have four chances to wrap up its title beginning with Game 4 on Friday night. The Warriors are attempting to combine a select list of groups to win three championships in four years.
James scored 33 points and Kevin Love added 20 for the Cavs, who have dropped into the hole where no team has ever arose. Cleveland came back from a 3-1 deficit to stun the Warriors in the 2016 finals, but that was when Durant was in Oklahoma City and James needed another supporting cast.
“We had our chances,” James stated. “You can not make errors. They’re not going to beat themselves.”
The Warriors won despite a 3-of-16 shooting operation from Curry, who did come up big down the stretch as the Cavs were hoping to salvage their time.
Durant, who tilted this rivalry toward the West Coast when he signed with the Warriors as a free agent before last season, was brilliant from the start. He helped offset a rough night for Curry, who made a finals-record nine 3-pointers in Game 2, but was only 1 of 10 from behind the arc and didn’t score his second field goal until there were under three minutes left.
Curry’s scoop shot put up the Warriors 98-97 and defensive pro Andre Iguodala, who didn’t play in Games 1 or 2 because of a knee injury, came up with a sneak under the basket. Curry finally buried a 3 and afterwards James matched him with a long shot, Iguodala drove the lane for a dip dip.
Moments later, Durant delivered his dagger to silence Cleveland’s crowd.
“The shot clock was running down, I had been pretty far out, I only wanted to have a look,” Durant said. “I did not wish to run there and take a terrible shot, drop on the ground and they got amounts moving the other way so I decided to pull up”
James made a layup to pull on the Cavs in four, it was too little too late since the Warriors shut out it and beat Cleveland for the fourth consecutive time in finals games.
Together with JaVale McGee acquiring three point-blank shots at the rim, the Warriors opened the third quarter with a 9-3 spurt and it wasn’t long before they took his first lead on Curry’s two free throws.
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