Golden State Warriors edge closer to National Basketball Association title with third straight win

Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins

Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins

"The one he made (Wednesday) was about four or five feet behind the one he made past year". Every mistake. Missed boxout. "We just have to come out Friday and not give in". Someone would come up and shoot a pull-up 3. But they're just 6-6 (2-2 in the regular season, 4-4 in The Finals) against the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena over the last four years. The Warriors lead the NBA Finals 3-0 over the Cavaliers. Thanks to a couple late-game mental lapses, the Warriors narrowly escaped with a 124-114 overtime win. He was 2-2 in four trips to the NBA Finals with Miami. We want to do that, focus on that as much as possible. Everybody has that mindset.

It was another dispiriting reality check for Cleveland, which has played its best basketball of the postseason lately.

No other Warriors player scored over 11 points.

James set the mark by hitting a 3-pointer with 1 minute, 57 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to draw the Cavs within one point, at 101-100.

Kevin Durant stood calmly near midcourt - and a very familiar spot - as teammates Stephen Curry and Draymond Green screamed at him in celebration.

"... It's not like you would think that he would fizzle out. He's one of the best players that I've ever played against, that this league has ever seen". I was in a daze. I wasn't going to do anything.

Thompson yelled, "Déjà vu!" while heading to the locker room after the win.

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In Game 3 of the Finals a year ago in the same building, Durant hit a deep 3-pointer to give the Warriors a 3-0 series lead. The 3-0 deficit has, until now, been insurmountable in National Basketball Association playoff annals. A billboard-sized picture of Durant's 3-pointer would later be hung in the team's practice gym. A year ago it was valued at about $5.19 million for teams that were already above the luxury tax apron. Kevin Love had 20 points and 13 rebounds and J.R. Smith finished with 13 points, finally making some shots. Curry continued to struggle to find his shot and Durant began to shoot wildly in an attempt to shoulder the load.

Durant is on the verge of his second straight championship (and, potentially, second straight NBA Finals MVP).

The rest of the 7 roster spots will have to be filled out mostly through minimum contracts they negotiate with players. We have to weather the storm, keep it close.

"(Wednesday), they're up three.

"I want to go home and celebrate". As remarkable as the Patriots have been, they've made back-to-back Super Bowls just once, winning it all in 2003 and 2004. But even with all that, it still takes the flawless game from an imperfect Cleveland cast to beat these Warriors. Durant described Irving as a "certified killer" offensively.

The max contract that Durant could sign this upcoming offseason is 4 years and about $158 million, and obviously his vast talent warrants that type of figure. "They had Kyrie then, too, but we learned from it". If the bone bruise in his knee is sufficiently healed, it could allow Golden State to put him on James in hopes that he can slow the superstar down just enough to lessen Cleveland's chances of an upset. It was as complete of a game for Durant, who should, by now, be leading the race for the NBA Finals MVP award. They knew where Durant was trying to get to and when he would pull up, but their contests didn't matter. To be up six at the half after being up 13. they're going to make runs. "So just get back to work tomorrow and figure out a better game plan".

Marc J. Spears is the senior National Basketball Association writer for The Undefeated.

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