Durant's Big Three-Pointer Puts Warriors A Win Away From Title

Video: Kevin Durant toys with Cavs defenders as Golden State go 3-0 up

Video: Kevin Durant toys with Cavs defenders as Golden State go 3-0 up

James and Irving were terrific for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals Wednesday night - until the final few minutes. But with 1:15 left, Durant powerfully pushed Kevin Love back on a drive, got to about 12 feet out and planted a floater to pull the Warriors within two.

"Even when you're playing well, you got to play like A-plus-plus, because they're going to make runs and they're going to make shots and they got guys that's going to make plays", James said.

Durant had a number of good moments down the stretch and led the Warriors to a 118-113 victory against the Cavaliers.

But that means little to Golden States players, who with a win in Game 4 on Friday night can exorcise those haunting demons from last June when the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals to the Cavaliers.

Durant had been superb in the first two games of this series and was the main culprit in handing Cleveland a bitter loss.

Durant scored 31 points and Klay Thompson had 30 for the Warriors, who improved to 15-0 in the postseason and are on the brink of the first undefeated finish in the National Basketball Association.

Warriors: Golden State is the 13th team to take a 3-0 lead in Finals, and third since 1996.

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"He definitely was their closer", said Irving.

"Well, we didn't have any - not many worries after the game", James said.

No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit, and it doesn't appear any team is equipped to hang with these Warriors, who may go down as one of the best ever. Durant made eight straight points that were very critical, three big shots - and that's why they brought him here, those situations. "I think he's having the time of his life out there".

James had 39 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, but his attempt at a tying 3-pointer was blocked by Andre Iguodala and James stepped out of bounds after recovering it, slamming the ball to the court in frustration. Smith had 16 points, including five 3's, but the Cavs had no one else in double figures beyond James, Irving and Smith and got 11 points from their bench.

Cavaliers: James (1,175) passed Sam Jones (1,143), Bill Russell (1,151) and Elgin Baylor (1,161) to move into fourth place on the Finals scoring list. They were forced into some tough shots and also missed some open looks.

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving combined for 77 points while each playing about 45 of the 48 minutes - including a pivotal second half from Irving, but it was rendered moot.

"Kyrie and LeBron had it going the whole game, but that's pretty taxing to go one-on-one the whole game", said Kerr. He kept them afloat early. Stay in front of them, force them into outside shots, if you can.

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James didn't quite agree with Kerr's assessment.

"Do I look exhausted?" "We missed shots", he said. Curry has hit at least one 3-pointer in all 73 career postseason games. "I've played against some great teams, but no team has had this kind of firepower". Thompson had made only 38 percent from the field in the first three playoff rounds, but showed signs of life in Game 2. With unmatched firepower, the Warriors are pushing the pace and the Cavaliers to exhaustion.

J.R. Smith had a pair of 3-pointers in the first 2:43, but didn't score for the remainder of the half as the Cavs continued their search for complementary scoring. He had 21 points in the first 15 minutes.

Cavaliers' fans swapped T-shirts and shorts for long sleeves and sweat shirts as unusually cool spring weather had Cleveland feeling fall-like on Wednesday night hours before Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

Golden State's break-neck speed on offense has been a sight to behold.

Showing off his ability to spin in shots high off the backboard, Irving scored 16 in the third quarter and the Cavs held the Warriors to 22 points in their lowest scoring output in any quarter in this postseason. They finished the quarter recapturing the lead for a 94-89 advantage. Irving's incredible driving layup through four Warriors whipped Quicken Loans Arena into a frenzy and gave Cleveland a seven-point lead late in the quarter.

"Obviously, I'm drained right now", said James.

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"We have an opportunity to protect home and if we do that, we'll put ourselves back in the series", he said.

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