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No change: Cavs not slowing, sticking to plan vs. Warriors

20 June, 2017, 13:06 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
  • NBA Finals Basketball National Basketball Association, Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry Kevin Durant Cleveland Cav

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates after making a three-point basket in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. But history turned to infamy when they blew a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers, the biggest collapse in NBA Finals history.

Speaking of Curry and James, there was one sequence that may have outshined them all.

"He's got great one-on-one moves, the best in the world", Thompson said. To see that go in, that was liberating, man. "So just the way he played on the defensive end, the way he played on the offensive end, he's been doing it all playoffs long, but in these Finals, he's really picked it up, and it's been huge for us".

The Wednesday game averaged 20 million viewers - the biggest audience yet for the series - according to Nielsen.

Durant, though, was not going to be denied. Not after getting this close, not after enduring so much criticism for leaving Oklahoma City and not with a chance to put the Cavaliers in an insurmountable hole.

The 7-footer finished 10 of 18 from the field with eight rebounds and four assists.

"Obviously, it's physically and emotionally draining", said LeBron James, who was one assist shy of another triple-double (39 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists) and called the Warriors the team with "probably the most firepower I've played in my career".

He was unguardable and made a 3 Pointer in the final minute of the game to win it [118-113] Warriors.

In the 48 hours before Game 3, James would devour film of the first two games.

Also, remember that Irving also beat the Warriors last Christmas on a short turnaround jumper over Thompson with 3.4 seconds left, more evidence why Thompson remains guarded and wary.

Showing off his ability to spin in shots high off the backboard, Irving scored 16 in the third quarter and the Cavs held the Warriors to 22 points in their lowest scoring output in any quarter in this postseason.

To me, the coolest element of this whole thing is the way Curry has gone from two-time MVP to second in command to Kevin Durant. James dropped to the floor and a hush fell over Cleveland's crowd as the three-time champ laid in the foul lane like a boxer sprawled on the canvas after taking an upper cut. James shook it off, got up and slowly walked to the bench, and moments later drove for a layup. All evidence in Golden State to the contrary, it is not an equation - not even a very complex one. It's unlikely Cavs coach Tyronn Lue will change the matchup at the start of Game 3, but he did use guard Iman Shumpert on Durant for portions of Game 2.

"They're playing well", James said.

CLEVELAND Can the Warriors finish off a flawless postseason and stamp themselves as the greatest winners in National Basketball Association history? "That's what we want".

But winning four out of five, should the Cavs make it 2-1 with a win?

It is embodied in Michael Jordan's shrug, in Katie Ledecky's colossal, blowout win in the 400m freestyle at the 2016 Olympics, in Curt Schilling's (now forever tarnished) bloody sock, in Willis Reed's limp, in Alex Honnold's free soloing of El Capitan. He played in 23 for Miami.

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