CLEVELAND (USA TODAY) – It’s not over.
But it’s over, right?
Has to be.
The unstoppable Golden State Warriors took a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals with a 118-113 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kevin Durant’s three-pointer with 45 seconds left gave Golden State a 114-113 lead, and Steph Curry secured the victory with four free throws. With Golden State leading 116-113, Cleveland had a chance to tie the score, but LeBron James turned the ball over by stepping out of bounds.
Cleveland took a 113-107 lead on J.R. Smith’s three-pointer with 3:09 left in the fourth quarter, but Golden State finished the game on an 11-0 run.
The Warriors set a record for three-pointers made in a quarter (nine in the first) and in a half (12) and finished 16-for-33 on three-pointers. Durant (31 points), Curry (26 points) and Klay Thompson (30 points) combined for 87 points.
James can do a lot of everything at a high level, but he can’t do it all. James scored 27 of his game-high 39 points in the first half, and Kyrie Irving rediscovered his shooting touch with 38 points.
It was Cleveland’s best effort of the three games, and it didn’t yield a victory.
The Warriors can finish off the Cavaliers on Friday in Game 4 (9 p.m. ET, ABC) and complete another sweep.
Golden State is on the verge of history. Unbeaten at 15-0 in the playoffs, the Warriors can become the first team to sweep all four rounds and finish with a perfect playoff record.
The Cavaliers are staring at a dire sporting situation: No team in any round of the playoffs has come back from a 3-0 deficit.
Granted no team had come back from a 3-1 Finals deficit until Cleveland did it last season, but this is different and everyone from the smartest basketball mind to the casual fan knows that.
Cleveland threw a flurry of punches, and Golden State withstood them. Now, the Warriors are one victory from one of the most impressive championships in NBA history.
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