Curry, who has benefited more than any other player by Durant’s arrival and is healthy in these Finals, added 13 rebounds and six assists.
Should the Warriors win Game 4, they will become the first team to go 16-0 in the history of the NBA Playoffs.
“It’s the most firepower I’ve played in my career”, said James, who played all but two minutes. Cleveland took Game 3 at home, lost Game 4 and then won the final three – Game 7 in Oakland – to capture the city’s first sports championship since 1964.
The NBA Finals a year ago was memorable.
“It took a while for it to kind of reveal itself consistently as the regular season went on, but once it clicked and the habits started to become second nature, it was kind of lovely to watch and an awesome kind of style to play and watch unfold”, Curry said. But protecting the lead meant leaving Irving on the floor for the entire second half and James for all but a few seconds of it, and on the other bench Steve Kerr kept reminding his deeper Warriors that the Cavaliers were going to get exhausted.
“Golden state” on the road beat “Cleveland” and was one win away from the most dominant titles in National Basketball Association history. Last year, the Cavs managed to pull of a 3-1 comeback.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving couldn’t be stopped. “I didn’t talk to these guys when I made my decision and say we better make it to the Finals and be up in the series around this time, this exact date, or I’m not coming”. James played 45 minutes and nearly the entire second half. “Tomorrow’s another important opportunity for us and for myself, obviously, to continue the series”, said James, who had a game-high 39 points in the game-three loss.
“I’ll be replaying that one for awhile”, Irving said.
The Warriors thought they were carving out their place in history when they set a record with 73 wins last season. On the first loop, the Warriors fought through the screens to stick on Smith, leading to Kyrie getting a bucket after resetting the play at the top of the screen. The Warriors led by three. Their situations are different – James never joined a team as strong as these Warriors – but he said he’s proud of Durant’s success and understands why moving to a team like the Warriors was so attractive. “You can tell, he knows this is his moment”. The 26 paint points are the most by a player 6-foot-3 or shorter in the last 20 postseasons.
“That’s exactly what happened throughout the season”, Durant said. He now has scored 30-plus in all three games of the Finals.
Curry grabbed the huge rebound, his 13th, and Durant eventually received the ball and absorbed the foul. Durant scored 31 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished four assists. Green was blamed in part for the Warriors’ collapse a year ago after getting suspended for Game 5 after getting tagged for his fourth flagrant-foul point of the playoffs. “We missed shots and they made some”. They took the time to make their shots and it really paid off in the 2nd Half.