February 26, 2018

Durant exceeding Warriors expectations in NBA Finals

17 June 2017, 11:34 | Marlene Fleming

Overcoming toughest challenge, Warriors one win from perfection

The Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving splits the defence of the Warriors' Shaun Livingston left and Stephen Curry during Game 3 play Wednesday night in Cleveland

James and Irving were terrific for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals Wednesday night - until the final few minutes. The Warriors will try to wrap things up with a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 on Friday night.

Blown off the court in the second halves of the first two games, the Cavaliers surged ahead with a big third quarter and were still ahead by six with less than 3 minutes to play.

Golden State's flawless post-season is over.

Some people may argue their greatness, but James won't.

During his career, James has played for two "super teams" somewhat comparable to what the Warriors have assembled for this season. They won a championship, and past year it was the greatest regular-season team we had played, probably one of the best postseason teams that everybody's ever seen as well, but we were just able to overcome that.

"Even when you're playing well, you got to play A-plus-plus, because they're going to make runs and they're going to make shots and they got guys that's going to make plays". Those Lakers went 15-1, as the first round back then were best out of five series. "They're definitely a different team than they were past year", he added. Kevin Durant led the way on offense again with 31 points, bringing his NBA Finals average to 34 points per game. In an alternate reality, we would be talking about this Cleveland team as a juggernaut, the class of the league.

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"We witnessed a closing game by Kevin Durant that you can't prepare for", Irving said.

"I've got to go home, get my mind focused and get my body focused for game four and we take it one possession at a time". We're a confident group. This was the Cleveland's game until they collapsed and Durant came to life. With dominating players like Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Draymond Green, Golden State will likely be a top team for seasons to come. The run was helped by a pull-up three pointer by none other than off-season acquisition Durant that put the Warriors into the lead to stay.

And while the Cavaliers are far from surrendering, there is a sense the addition of Durant has made Golden State a much harder team to vanquish even once - let alone 4 times. However, the Warriors were in control of both games for the most part and were not really tested until Game 3.

Barring a collapse of epic proportions, Durant will finally become an National Basketball Association champion in the coming days and likely be named Finals MVP, less than a year after ripping out the hearts of Oklahoma City fans by leaving the Thunder. They get up shots quickly and from everywhere, fanning out to the corners and wings on the break, running for three-pointers rather than running for layups.

They very easily could be playing for a third straight championship. "So we made enough plays tonight to still win the ballgame, but they made a couple more", added James, via ESPN.

"We like the pace; they like the pace", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before the game. "They have their youth, they have their health. So that allowed them to go do that". "It will be a massive upset, I think, if they're not there each and every year".

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