Get out the brooms on Friday night, for the Golden State Warriors are poised to capture their second NBA title in three years, and a spot as the greatest team in NBA history. The Warriors scored the final 11 points in the closing minutes of sensational game three of the NBA finals, 118-113, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Warriors continue their unstoppable winning streak. DUB Nation is an astonishing 15-0 this postseason, a mere win from an historic 16-0 NBA record. They have the opportunity to cap off a flawless playoffs.
Trailing by seven points late in the fourth quarter, the Warriors mounted a furious rally in “The Land” and stole one as Kevin Durant hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 45 seconds in the exhilarating game every NBA fan has been eagerly waiting for. The shot symbolically represents the changing of the guard in the NBA; the moment KD surpassed King James as the game’s best player. It’s the defining moment in Durant’s career.
The main storyline of the 2017 NBA finals has been the battle for league supremacy. LeBron James helped foster Durant’s departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder to head to the Bay Area in the first place.
Durant is following the template LeBron set up in 2010, when James joined the Miami Heat, a so-called “Superteam.” As Durant casually dribbled the ball past the half-court line, no one imagined he dared attempt a three-pointer. However, he realized James’ heels were behind the line, so he let it fly. You could hear a pin drop when it swished through the net.
Game three was a devastating loss for the Cavaliers. Everything went right, and still those final minutes will haunt them. They went ice-cold at the worst possible time, going 0 for 8 down the stretch. Trailing by three, 116-113 with 12 seconds remaining, the Cavaliers had a ripe chance to send this thriller into overtime with a three. On an errant inbound pass, Andre Iguodala blanketed James, deflecting the ball off LeBron’s arms, and the fate was sealed.
Kyrie Irving had his breakout performance, shaking and baking for 39 points, while LeBron James added 38 points. The duo’s 77 combined points was outstanding in defeat.
Unfortunately for the city of Cleveland, LeBron and the Cavaliers choked and gave this one away. Should James fall short once again, his NBA finals record will be 3-5. That means his pursuit of catching Michael Jordan to become the G.O.A.T. is officially over. Jordan not only was a flawless 6-0 in the finals, his Chicago Bulls never needed seven games to win the title.
Redemption shall be attained in the form of the glistening Larry O’Brien trophy if the Warriors sweep their archrivals the Cavs by celebrating on the floor of the franchise that ripped their heart out last year. In the aftermath of an historic comeback, the Warriors avenged consecutive game three finals losses.
The Cavaliers have dug themselves an even greater hole than last year, when all looked hopeless facing a 3-1 series deficit. This year, the Cavaliers will have to one-up their recent comeback history. Game four will air Friday, June 9, on ABC. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. EST.