Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Cavs' best effort not good enough to beat the Warriors

Video: Kevin Durant toys with Cavs defenders as Golden State go 3-0 up Kevin Durant's dagger 3 lifts Warriors over Cavs in Game 3
Jan Ortega | 21 June, 2017, 04:58

With their 15th straight win, the Warriors now have the longest postseason streak for any team in the four major professional sports.

The Warriors prevailed, with a 118-113 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 3 Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena that keeps alive their chance for a flawless postseason.

Golden State has set an National Basketball Association record with its ideal 14-0 start in the playoffs after sweeping its series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Round 1, the Utah Jazz in Round 2 and the San Antonio Spurs in Round 3.

And when they finally got a close one, they showed why their roster is the envy of just about every other team, with the long-range shooting of Durant, Curry and Klay Thompson, and the defensive wizardry of Draymond Green and 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala. Stephen Curry again stepped up in the final stretch of the last period and worked in tandem with Durant for the Warriors' 11-0 run that all but decided the outcome of the game.

"All I was looking at was the bottom of the net", Durant said. I've been working on that shot my whole life. "So we'll see how it goes".

"We obviously know how hard it is to win a championship, what all goes into it and how important each game is". The Warriors went up as much as eight, the Cavs by seven. NBA Finals of 2016, the GSW was ahead 3-1 against the Cavs but the latter have managed to sweep the last three games of that historic series.

James and Irving were relentless in the second half and it appeared they had done enough to get Cleveland over the top and perhaps back in the series.

Durant, though, was not going to be denied. However, Golden State held on to the lead and pushed it to 8 points, 67-59, with 38 seconds left.

Cleveland had collapsed in the third quarter of the first two games, letting the Warriors run away and hide.

Irving didn't let that happen in Game 3. But protecting the lead meant leaving Irving on the floor for the entire second half and James for all but a few seconds of it, and on the other bench Steve Kerr kept reminding his deeper Warriors that the Cavaliers were going to get exhausted.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers, scoring a game-high 39 points.

James was knocked flat in the first quarter, when he accidentally got blasted in the chin by teammate Tristan Thompson's shoulder.

CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James and Kyrie Irving couldn't be stopped. Golden State has won and covered the spread in three straight meetings with the Cavs.

But the heavy minutes Cleveland's superstars were forced to play may have taken their toll down the stretch.

"We want to play fast; we don't want to play in a hurry", Lue said. "And they still beat us pretty good", the Cavs star admitted. The pace was particularly fast in the first half; for instance, the pace of play in the first quarter of Game 2 was the single fastest pace of any quarter in James' 14-year career. Curry and Kerr walked through security and were immediately greeted by retired pro wrestler Ric Flair, best known as "The Nature Boy.".

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