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Warriors close Game 3 on 11-0 run to move a win away from title

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) passes around Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the first half of Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
AP Photo/Tony Dejak

The Golden State Warriors’ perfect postseason was in serious danger after J.R. Smith drilled a 3-pointer to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a six-point lead with just over three minutes to play in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. The Warriors promptly closed the game on an 11-0 run to earn a 118-113 victory. Golden State is now win away from a perfect 16-0 postseason.

Kevin Durant did the heavy lifting during the game-deciding stretch, scoring seven of his team-high 31 points to close out the game. Three of those points came on an ice-cold triple in LeBron James’ face:

Durant knocked down two free throws after Kyrie Irving missed a 3-pointer on the other end, and then Andre Iguodala got some revenge on James with a block of a corner 3-point attempt:

Stephen Curry put the nail in the Cavaliers’ coffin with a pair of free throws to finish with 26 points. Curry also had a team-high 13 rebounds to go along with six assists.

Klay Thompson was the only other Warrior besides Durant and Curry to score in double figures. Thompson poured in 30 points on 11 of 18 shooting to make it a second consecutive big game after struggling with his shooting for much of the postseason. He hit six of Golden State’s 16 triples.

Cleveland’s stunning collapse ruined incredible performances from James and Irving. James had 39 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, while Irving had 38 points. The pair combined to shoot 31-for-56 from the field. Unfortunately, they both missed key shots in that final stretch and got little help.

Cavaliers not named LeBron or Kyrie shot 9-for-34 for the game, and Cleveland shot only 12-for-44 from long range.

The Cavaliers are used to overcoming big NBA Finals deficits against the Warriors, but no team in NBA history has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series. Golden State will look to finish its historic postseason run in Game 4 on Friday.



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