Dynasty’s doorstep: Warriors take 3-0 lead in Finals
CLEVELAND — Kevin Durant pushed the Golden State Warriors to dynasty’s doorstep.
LeBron James may be at the door.
Durant scored 43 points, draining a long 3-pointer in the final minute to cap his magnificent performance, and the Golden State Warriors defeated James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-102 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night to move within a victory of a sweep, their second straight title and third championship in four years.
No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs.
It might be time to order some champagne from Napa Valley.
With the Cavs within 103-100, Durant stood motionless after dropping his 33-footer, which effectively ended the fourth straight finals matchup between two teams who have gotten to know each other well since 2015.
Golden State will now have four chances to wrap up its title starting with Game 4 on Friday night.
James scored 33 points and Kevin Love added 20 for the Cavs, who have fallen into a hole in which no team has ever emerged. Cleveland came back from a 3-1 deficit to stun the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, but that was when Durant was in Oklahoma City and James had a different supporting cast.
The Warriors won despite a 3-of-16 shooting performance from Stephen Curry, who did come up big down the stretch as the Cavs were trying to salvage their season.
Now Cleveland could be down to one final game with James. The three-time champion can opt out of his $35.6 million contract and test free agency this summer, and it may be time for the 33-year-old to find a team capable of beating the Warriors.
Warriors: Draymond Green passed Wilt Chamberlain (922) for the most rebounds in Warriors playoff history. … Thompson played in his NBA-high 390th game over the last four seasons. Green is second with 387, while James is third at 381. … Green and Thompson, who have tangled all series, were both slapped with technical following an exchange in the first quarter. …
Cavaliers: James (238) broke a tie with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and moved into fourth place for the most playoff games. Only Derek Fisher (259), Tim Duncan (251) and Robert Horry (244) have made most postseason appearances. … Abdul-Jabbar attended the game and got a rousing ovation when introduced in the third quarter.