We just witnessed the best and most interesting game of the NBA Finals but thanks to Kevin Durant, the series is essentially over.
The Warriors fought back in the fourth quarter and finished off a 118-113 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night to take a 3-0 lead in the series.
The game looked like it was following the same script as the first two games of the series: The Cavs started out well before the Warriors turned it on, then the Cavs kept it close in the second quarter and only trailed by six at halftime. In the first two games, however, the Warriors went on huge runs in the third quarter to blow the game open. Not in Game 3.
This time, the Cavs held a lead until late in the fourth quarter, but a furious fourth-quarter comeback led Golden State to victory.
With the Warriors trailing 111-113 with 50 seconds to play, Durant dribbled the length of the floor and knocked a three-pointer down for the Dubs’ first lead in a long time.
The Cavs failed to score the rest of the way after KD made another pair at the line and Andre Iguodala prevented LeBron James from attempting a game-tying trey at the corner.
The run seemed to come out of nowhere, with James and Kyrie Irving dominating for much of the second half, combining for 77 points in the game. The two-man dominance was simply not enough, even with a solid effort from J.R. Smith, thanks to the Warriors’ stacked lineup. Klay Thompson, Durant and Curry combined for 87 points, with Durant leading the way with 31 and Curry improbably tying Kevin Love as the game’s top rebounder with 13.
With the win, the Warriors have now extended their postseason record to 15 consecutive games, and in Friday’s Game 4 have a chance to be the first team to complete a postseason undefeated. Needless to say, no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the N.B.A. finals. But if there is a glimmer of hope for the stunned Cavaliers, no team had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit until last year when Cleveland did that against Golden State.