Stephen Curry made just one 3-pointer, albeit in a clutch situation, but the Golden State Warriors were still able to take a stranglehold on the NBA Finals behind a 110-102 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3. Kevin Durant poured in a game-high and career playoff-high 43 points.
Durant’s final points came on a 3-pointer that was shot a few feet back from the spot he pulled up from in Game 3 of last year’s Finals. Like in 2017, the 3-pointer was essentially a dagger. It put the Cavaliers in a 106-100 deficit with 49.8 seconds remaining.
While Curry was struggling to find his shooting stroke, Durant was having one of his patented offensive outbursts. He drilled an isolation three just before halftime to cut the Warriors’ deficit to six points.
Then, as they’ve done so often during their current run, Golden State held a scoring edge in the third quarter. They came out of halftime on an 11-3 run and outscored the Cavaliers in the quarter, 31-23.
It erased a lead that Kevin Love and J.R. Smith helped LeBron James establish in the first half. James finished with 33 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, playing 47 minutes. Love was second on the Cavs with 20 points, adding 13 rebounds.
Rodney Hood made the most of his opportunity by contributing 15 points off the bench. Smith (13 points) was the only other Cavaliers player to score in double-figures.
Golden State backed Durant’s effort by having five players reach double-digits. However, no one scored more than the 11 points Curry had. Andre Iguodala played 22 minutes in his return but suffered a right knee contusion.
Game 4 is set for Friday at Quicken Loans Arena. Teams that have fallen behind 3-0 in the playoffs are 0-131.
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