Durant's Huge Night Pushes Cavs to the Brink

Stephen Curry Kendrick Perkins

Open thread: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors NBA finals

Golden State guarded James better in Game 2-though he still scored 29 points on 50 percent shooting and had 13 assists-and they could be even better equipped to slow down James in Game 3.

He's not conceding. But he is clearly tipping his cap to the Warriors, his nemesis in each of the last four Junes and a team that's one win shy of beating him in three of those series. The Warriors have been here done that and only need to play well for a half to pull out the win/cover. Some of them were because I insisted on giving him a rest. For a while, the Warriors could depend only on Durant, JaVale McGee and Jordan Bell on offense.

Be proactive - Use the "Flag as Inappropriate" link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts. Injuries, officiating and, as seen in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, a series of fortuitous mental miscues no one could have counted on. Before Curry said a word, Durant added: "I got you".

"I always believe the role players play much better at home than they do on the road", James told reporters in Cleveland on Tuesday. "They rise to the occasion, and that's what Golden State has done the last four years".

LeBron James has been Herculean in these playoffs, but he can't carry the Cavs against these Warriors on his own. He also wanted his team to be more physical than they were in the two games played on Golden State's floor to start the series. "He's a scorer. You know, he's an assassin and that was one of those assassin plays right there".

With the Cavs down 103-100, Durant stood defiantly and nearly motionless after dropping his 33-footer - nearly from the same spot from where he hit one in Game 3 previous year - and effectively ended the fourth consecutive finals matchup between two teams who have gotten to know each other well since 2015.

And, just as it did in Game 3 a year ago, it moved Durant and the Warriors to the precipice of a championship. He did tone down a bit in the scoring department, but at the same time fell just an assist shy of his playoff career high, which made him the main, if not the sole reason why the Cavs managed to hold their ground until late in the fourth. But we should probably go back to Kevin Durant, shouldn't we? "I think his hitting man, he can flat out hit".

Just 43, 13 and 7 for the reigning Finals MVP ... and the flashback to last time dagger with 49.5 to play to put this one away. Both teams boast star-studded rosters every year that only get better as the season goes on. "There's going to be nights like this for all of them. Yeah, it's pretty nice, a pretty nice luxury as a coach, that's for sure". Durant and Curry are so skilled and multifaceted that they can coexist.

But I would argue that despite the fact that Curry had one of the worst shooting nights in his National Basketball Association career, he was extremely valuable to the Warriors in Game 3.

Curry at his worst?

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