الإثنين ٥ أغسطس ٢٠١٩
CLEVELAND — Kevin Durant pushed the Golden State Warriors to dynasty’s doorstep.
LeBron James could be at the door.
Durant scored 43 points, draining a lengthy 3-pointer in the last minute to cap his magnificent performance, and 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 tournament in four years.
And Cleveland may be down to a final game with James, who recorded his 10th triple-double from the finals. The three-time champion can opt out of the $35.6 million contract and also test free agency this summer, and it may be time for the 33-year-old to find a team capable of beating the Warriors.
These Cavs can not find out it.
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 discussed landing place for the celebrity for quite some time now.”
With the Cavs down 103-100, Durant stood defiantly and nearly motionless after falling his 33-footer – almost from precisely the same spot from where he struck one in Game 3 last season – and effectively ended the fourth consecutive finals matchup between two teams that have gotten to know each other well since 2015.
After Durant scored, Stephen Curry and Draymond surrounded Durant and screamed in their teammate, who calmly walked toward the bench.
“I tried to just stay in the zone,” Durant said, admitting that he was worried the Cavs could come back.
Durant reported the similarity with last year’s shot – a moment which helped establish his first championship – didn’t happen to him.
“No, not at all,” he said of the contrast. “I just took the photo.”
There was nothing that the Cavs could perform.
“It was like deja vu seeing him hit that shot ,” Cavs ahead Kevin Love said.
Golden State will have four chances to wrap up its title starting with Game 4 to Friday night. The Warriors are trying to combine a select list of teams to win three championships in four decades.
James scored 33 points and Kevin Love additional 20 for the Cavs, who have dropped into the hole where no team has ever emerged. Cleveland came back from a 3-1 deficit to stun the Warriors in the 2016 finals, but that was Durant was in Oklahoma City and James had a different supporting cast.
“We had our opportunities,” James stated. “You can’t make mistakes. They’re not going to beat themselves.”
The Warriors won even though a 3-of-16 shooting operation from Curry, who did come up big down the stretch because the Cavs were trying to salvage their season.
Durant, who tilted this rivalry toward the West Coast when he signed up with the Warriors as a free agent before last season, was brilliant from the beginning. He helped cancel a night for Curry, who left a finals-record nine 3-pointers in Game 2, but was just 1 of 10 from behind the arc and did not score his second field goal until there were under three minutes left.
Curry’s scoop shot put the Warriors up 98-97 and defensive pro Andre Iguodala, who did not play in Games 1 or two because of a knee injury, came up with a steal under the basket. Curry finally murdered a 3 and after 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 audience.
“The shot clock was running down, I had been pretty far out, I only wanted to have a look,” Durant said. “I did not want to run and take a terrible shot, drop on the ground and they got numbers going the other way so I decided to pull up”
James made a layup to pull the Cavs in four, it had been 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 getting three point-blank shots in the rim, the Warriors opened the third quarter with a 9-3 spurt and it was not long until they took his first lead on Curry’s two free throws.
Read more: chicagopost.net