Durant dominates as Warriors push Cavaliers to the brink

07 June, 2018, 12:17 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • LeBron James

After Durant scored, Curry and Green rushed to his side and the trio walked back toward Golden State's bench where the other Warriors were hugging and high-fiving.

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

"It was determined he was out of the restricted area, but he was not in a legal guarding position prior to Durant's separate shooting motion", referee Ken Mauer said after the game.

The next two days will be angst-laden for Cleveland, though hardly anyone should be fretting the outcome of this series.

In Cleveland, the rim shrunk for Warriors' sharpshooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

I think the Cavaliers will come out strong, but the whole game will be one Warriors run from getting out of hand.

But the Warriors are just never that easy to put away. But there were no late-game heroics this time like we've seen so many times in these playoffs. He was becoming a quality National Basketball Association player in Utah. Meaning not only has Golden State not covered, but they've lost the game outright. They take wild shots that challenge historic convention. We've got a lot of guys who can play, and they're all chipping in. Their third-quarter excellence is fast becoming the stuff of legend, an uncanny ability to turn on self-fuelled engines at their choosing, lulling opponents for the first two quarters into believing they stand a chance, only to have those hopes dashed against the rocky shores of Steph Curry's and Klay Thompson's long-range shooting.

This is the benefit Durant provides to the Warriors.

The shot was reminiscent of the one he sank in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals, although this time he drilled it from farther, 33 feet to be exact. And that's what Durant at his best looks like on these Warriors: Not a superstar, but a teammate who is capable of playing like a superstar.

Oddly enough, for Cleveland's supporting cast - who have been wildly sub-par and inconsistent through two Finals games - playing at home doesn't always translate to success. 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. Despite their complacent philosophy, the Warriors recognized the opportunity when it presented itself; a dominant performance in overtime en route to a victory showed they were done casually flying too close to the sun on wings of nonchalance.

The series now shifts back to Cleveland, where the Cavaliers are a significantly better team. And maybe it was, but James did the same thing in the 2017 finals. He's three rebounds shy of averaging one in this series.

But the title seems largely dependent on whether Golden State continues to understand the significance of the moment. He outscored the rest of the starting lineup (17 points combined) by himself to keep the Warriors in it. Golden State's effortless product challenges that convention.

Cleveland has won eight straight playoff games at Quicken Loans Arena, which may be louder than ever with hometown fans still frothing from some calls that went against the Cavaliers in the Bay Area last week.



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