Golden State Warriors take 3-0 lead in NBA Finals

LeBron James

LeBron James

"That's the story of the season", said Kerr, walking the thin line between frenetic energy and exhaustion that he often does.

Two Finals games after, it turns out the negative reaction was exaggerated, of course.

"We talk about his versatility all the time", Warriors guard Stephen Curry said.

"Holding Steph [Curry] to 11 points and Klay [Thompson] to 10, you would think you would win that game", an exasperated Tyronn Lue said afterward. "We're playing to achieve a standard that we should set for ourselves". Golden State's Kevin Durant said. But there were no late-game heroics this time like we've seen so many times in these playoffs. Let's look into the numbers and see why another loss should not impact the King's quest to becoming the greatest National Basketball Association player of all time. Golden State never trailed. Referees went to the replay monitors to be certain James wasn't in the restricted circle - he clearly was not. They take wild shots that challenge historic convention. He handles the ball for us a lot on offense. Durant scored 43 points on 15-of-23 from the field and 6-of-9 from 3-point range.

This is the benefit Durant provides to the Warriors.

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The bathroom break may have served as a chance for Curry to catch his breath in what is one of his worst games in years. The Warriors are not invulnerable, but the point still stands that those vulnerabilities come across as being of their own choosing, something that flies in the face of everything we have ever known about professional sport. To put that into perspective, Curry has drilled 56 three's so far this postseason, despite sitting out the Warriors' first six playoff games (he's appeared in 13 games). Game 3 of this series will probably be remembered by how the Cavaliers, even with Curry missing 13 of his first 14 shots, dominated stretches of the first half and went into the locker room only up by six.

Durant's performance summed up why he's made the Warriors so dominant. That lineup extended a razor-thin one-point lead with 7:34 left in the fourth quarter to cruise for the win.

The series now shifts back to Cleveland, where the Cavaliers are a significantly better team. Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and George Hill-Cleveland's No.2 through No.4 scorers-are all averaging a combined 40.0 points, 17.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. James entered another series against the Warriors as the biggest championship underdog of his career in Vegas, and several analysts have said that winning a title with this roster would be the biggest achievement of James' career.

But the title seems largely dependent on whether Golden State continues to understand the significance of the moment. He has ingrained himself in the Warriors' culture and become an active participant. Golden State's effortless product challenges that convention. Cleveland feeds off the thunder of their crowd, where they had won eight straight in the playoffs after dropping Game 1 of their first-round series with the Indiana Pacers, and the speakers in this three-tier arena downtown boomed. On the moneyline, the Warriors are priced at -160 and the Cavaliers are at +150. And yet, the painful reality might be that even a partially committed Warriors team is still unstoppable and there just might not be a thing that anyone can do about it.

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