Warriors take stranglehold on Finals
- Author: Lawrence Cooper Jun 08, 2018,
Jun 08, 2018, 1:28
They finished the Cavaliers off in five games in 2017.
In Game 3, Cleveland led most of the way and trailed by one point with under two minutes remaining, but a Kevin Durant 33-foot bomb created separation for the Warriors. Golden State started 0-of-6 from three, but one by Klay Thompson and one by Durant sparked run that eventually tied the game late in the first quarter. But one of the misses was on objective.
LeBron, now second-running with 85 3-pointers, is also still playing in the Finals, although its hard to imagine him retaking the record considering that Curry is a far more prolific outside shooter.
The Warriors seized a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals and by winning game four Friday can complete the first championship series sweep since Cleveland was blanked by San Antonio in 2007.
"Golden State Warriors star player Kevin Durant proves that there really is no "I" - or "$" - in "team". But the Warriors closed each period with a run that got them right back into striking distance.
For a Toronto-based sports writer, it is an odd feeling to come to Cleveland and see the home team as heavy underdogs.
Durant has made quite a career out of rising to the occasion.
The Raptors' oh-fer here doesn't even quite explain the level of dominance.
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Stanford (44-10 overall), which won the Pac-12 by a game and a half over OSU (44-10-1), was also selected as a regional host. As for the rest of the state, Florida State and Stetson join the Gators as regional hosts from the Sunshine State.
There are nights when the Warriors win by the grace of their fluid offensive scheme, and others when they rely on the singular exploits of Kevin Durant.
Iguodala has averaged 11.4 points in 18 past finals games including a 20-point showing for Golden State in last year's title clincher against the Cavaliers.
From the outset of Game 3, these indeed looked like different Cavaliers. Steph was three for 16, one for 10, but as usual he hit a big one.
Golden State leads the NBA Finals 2-0.
But the biggest shot of the evening came with under a minute left. "I guess because you are comfortable", he said.
Common NBA wisdom dictates that role players benefit the most from playing at home.
James landed badly going for a rebound early in the second quarter and limped on his right ankle, but the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player kept the Cavaliers in contention to the end. He can get easy shots as a result of the attention defenses pay Curry and Thompson. Curry has downplayed his interest in the award, but his fourth quarter explosion in Game 2 following an altercation with Cleveland's Kendrick Perkins showed a competitive fire that is rarely on public display from Curry. And given the team he's had to work with this year, it's pretty easy to understand why.
The Warriors promptly erased that six-point deficit when the second half opened, tying the game after less than two minutes of game time.
Too bad for the Cavaliers, Iguodala helped kick them over that precipitous edge before limping through the hallways at Quicken Loans Arena.