Cleveland Cavaliers still stinging from Game 3 loss in NBA Finals
- Author: Stacy Allen Jun 12, 2017,
Jun 12, 2017, 10:59
Golden State still leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 with game five set for Monday in Oakland, California.
What the league is witnessing with Golden State is potentially the greatest semblance of talent ever seen.
With the Warriors unbeaten in the postseason and a victory away from a second title in three years, a number of former players have said their teams would have beaten them.
He could only watch as Kevin Durant of the Warriors sank a three-pointer over the top of him, one final jolt from which the Cavaliers could not recover.
Imagine, then, how the Golden State Warriors coach will feel if his team completes a sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday to go four-four-four-four through the gauntlet of the National Basketball Association playoffs.
The Cavs were determined not to let the Warriors celebrate on their floor for the second time in three years, and it was Cleveland, not Golden State, which busted Finals scoring records in the first half. Andre Iguodala also recently hinted that he, Stephen Curry and Durant will all be back on the team next season even though they each have the option to become free agents and sign lucrative deals elsewhere. Now, a fourth one seems almost as distant with the scary-good Warriors just getting started. So they're able to keep Steph, Klay, and Draymond, and be able to go out and sign someone else like they did this past summer by just getting rid of a couple pieces.
Coach Steve Kerr said his players aren't anxious about the past. Like I said, there's no other choice. The only finals team down 3-0 to force a seventh game was the 1951 New York Knicks.
James finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for his ninth career triple-double in the Finals, breaking the record of eight held by Magic Johnson.
"They're definitely a different team than they were previous year that's definitely in full effect that we're all fully aware of", the Cavs' Kyrie Irving said.
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 09: Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Cavaliers shot 24-of-45 from 3-point range, setting a record for Finals hoops from beyond the arc and finishing one shy of matching the league's all-time record. He had Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami and now has Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in Cleveland.
Draymond Green two days earlier was downplaying any talk about a ideal run through the playoffs, but now that it's just one win away his tone has changed. I'm just trying to be solid for my team mates'. We just kept our composure. Before the game, Kerr, who missed 11 playoff games because of back pain, said his decision to return to the bench for Game 2 in the Finals was easy. "I think I said it (after Game 3), it just looks like he understands this is his moment, this is his time".
"I definitely want to compete", he said. However, for the two minutes James took to the bench, Cleveland went -12, squandering all chance of a series-changing victory.
Dominating the glass and slowing the Warriors' devastating pace to their liking stand as two of the tallest task the Cavaliers need to accomplish in terms of breaking Golden State's winning streak and avoiding a sweep on the NBA's biggest stage.
LeBron James had stuffed another playoff game full of his usual brilliance. The Warriors previously swept Portland, Utah and San Antonio. "I played against some great teams, but I don't think no team has had this type of firepower".