June 28, 2017

Warriors top Cavs to come within striking distance of NBA title

09 June 2017, 02:49 | Jackie Morgan

Cleveland had looked like they might prevail when they led by six points with three minutes to play but Durant led the Warriors on an impressive 11-0 run to close out the game. LeBron matched his own NBA Finals best by scoring 27 points in the first half (he scored 39 points overall), and Irving emerged in the second half, scoring 38 for the game.

Going into Game 3 of the NBA Finals tonight between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, everyone is already jumping the gun with the conjecture and what-if questions.

The Warriors, who blew a 3-1 Finals lead to the Cavs last year, can clinch their second championship in three years with a victory Friday night in Cleveland. They like to see two well-matched teams go at each other over the course of a series, especially if it's a seven game series.

According to Nielsen ratings, through two games on ABC this is the most watched NBA Finals since 1998.

This may surprise you, but much of Golden State's first quarter points came via three pointers.

One of the options Lue has heading into Wednesday's Game 3 is to bench struggling starting guard JR Smith for Iman Shumpert, who played well defensively in Game 2 but wore himself out guarding Durant and needed IV fluids afterward.

"You're talking about guys who handle the ball, who shoot from range, who cut, who are kind of used to playing off the ball, so that the transition I think was pretty smooth", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the duo.

The Warriors leaned on an 11-0 run late in the game to pull the rug on the defending champions. He eventually left with 1:48 in the quarter after the Warriors sat Durant but he finished with 15 points in the quarter.

Thompson had every right to hunt for shots himself after scoring 16 points in the first quarter to avoid the slow starts that have plagued the Warriors in previous Game 3s here and finishing with 30.

But instead of getting back in the series they collapsed down the stretch against the Warriors.

No team in National Basketball Association history has come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. And when I say it's his team, it's not just literally his team. Broke the record of 14 straight postseason wins previously held by the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, who did it in 1992-93. It was Game 3, after all, and many people were assuming this would be Cleveland's best chance at taking a game. "It's not over. This is a insane game, anything can happen". Michael Jordan (1,176) is next.

James and Kyrie Irving combined for 77 points, dominating much of the second half, but even their electrifying performance was not enough to put a blemish on the Warriors' ideal record. The first two games of this year's Finals suggest that it was his addition to the Warriors that created the mismatch and allegedly made the finals boring. He played in 23 for Miami.

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