In what appeared to be an exact replication of the same game in the 2017 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors took Game 3 from the Cleveland Cavaliers, 110-102, to take a 3-0 series lead for the second consecutive season.
LeBron James might be playing his "last" game for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second and final time on Friday as the National Basketball Association superstar prepares to become a free agent on July 1.
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.
Durant was an efficient 15-of-23 from the field and 6-of-9 from 3-point range.
The continuation of course for the 110-102 primetime match-up comes from past year when LeBron James and crew were also denied a victory by Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the rest of the GSW in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals after suffering two back-to-back losses.
James had 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, but his Cavaliers will have to become the first team to climb out of a 3-0 hole in the NBA Finals. Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and George Hill-Cleveland's No.2 through No.4 scorers-are all averaging a combined 40.0 points, 17.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.
Friday, June 8: Golden State at Cleveland, 9 p.m. Eastern Time (0100GMT Saturday).
"We've had an opportunity to win two of these games in this series and we haven't come up with it", James said. He was like, 'What you on?' and I'm like, 'What you mean what I'm on?' I'm sitting over here.
"It's nearly like playing the Patriots", James said after the game.
"It's a big difference", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said when asked to compare the pre- and post-Durant Warriors.
"He's one of the best one-on-one players in our league. They're not going to beat themselves".
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.
This is a historically great group that, in response to losing to the Cavs in 2016, doggedly recruited the No. 2 player in the game.
After the game, during Durant's press conference, his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate and current Cavs center Kendrick Perkins was seen popping out from behind the curtains towards the back of the interview room to throw up a couple of middle-fingers at Durant.
Both teams battled through a tight one-possession game throughout most of the fourth, exchanging leads but also missing several shots that could have proved difference-making for either side. We want to hear from the PistonPowered community.
"We feel like we've been right there", Love said. Curry finally buried a 3 and after James matched him with a long shot, Iguodala drove the lane for a thundering dunk.
"Now everyone is trying to figure that out, to put together that talent and those minds", James said.