To say that the Cleveland Cavaliers came out on a real high and positive note on Wednesday night in Game 3 of the NBA Finals would be a major understatement. The Cavs, down 2-0 in the series, knew they had to win this game to have any realistic shot of just making this series interesting. They hit the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the mouth, hard, for each of the first two quarters, but it was an old familiar song that the Warriors had heard and knew how to negotiate.
To start the game, the Cavaliers were up by as many as 12 points with the Warriors starting out cold and the home team starting out on fire. After winning the tip, Cleveland had gone down and scored a three via Kevin Love almost immediately. In their second possession, they scored another three. It was clear they were buoyed by the home crowd and were planning on using it to boost their chances. But that run dissipated, and at the end of the quarter they led by just one point. Not all was doom and gloom, though, as they would once again increase the lead to around ten before finally taking a second point lead to half time.
That’s where the Warriors, who got 43 points from Kevin Durant on the night in an epic performance, would draw the line, though. Third quarters belong to Golden State, and they showed that to be true again. The Warriors would win the quarter- I mean duh- by eight points, putting them up by two heading into the fourth. From there, they didn’t hammer the Cavaliers, but they pulled away just enough to win it 110-102, with Durant’s long three being the hammer blow in the final minute.
This game effectively kills the series off now. The Warriors still must win once more, yes, but can we realistically see the Cavaliers taking it from them by winning four games in a row? Only three teams in NBA history have been able to do it, and it has only happened in the Finals once. Even then, it was all the way back in 1951. The league has changed so incredibly much back then, and even if the Cavs get a win, or two, you just have to find it difficult to see them winning four. Now, the Cavs will be turning their focus toward preventing the Warriors from hoisting the trophy in Cleveland.