Warriors' Durant not simply along for Finals ride

Drew ShillerDraymond'Guys are locked in like I've never seen before

Drew ShillerDraymond'Guys are locked in like I've never seen before

The Golden State Warriors took a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals after a thrilling 118-113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

This joke refers to last year's Finals where, with the same two teams competing, the Warriors lost games five through seven, giving up the first 3-1 lead in Finals history and perhaps giving up the title of "best National Basketball Association season ever" in the process.

That move by the four-times scoring champion drew criticism as it came just weeks after the Warriors denied Durant and the Thunder a trip to last year's Finals by storming back from a 3-1 series deficit. But protecting the lead meant leaving Irving on the floor for the entire second half and James for all but a few seconds of it, and on the other bench Steve Kerr kept reminding his deeper Warriors that the Cavaliers were going to get exhausted.

Game 4 is on Friday. The offseason addition of Kevin Durant had made them a juggernaut, presumably destined to make history. Golden State have made it clear that they want to play fast and score early, and Cleveland let it happen.

"A doctor offered the Warriors a miracle drug that would make them three feet, one inches taller, but they declined".

After winning Games 1 and 2 by a combined 41 points at home, the Warriors had to scrap for all 48 minutes to take down the Cavs, who will need a similar effort to avoid being swept by a team with few - if any - weaknesses. For comparison's sake, Steph Curry is averaging 8 rebounds per game in this series thus far, so it's pretty clear Tristan's impact on this series has been negligible, to say the least.

The Warriors entered play as the best team in the National Basketball Association in the third quarter and had outscored the Cavs by 24 in the first two games.

Even in Game 2 the Cavaliers looked improved and came away with a 19-point loss.

James knows his team have to play a ideal game on Friday or else they will be on the wrong end of a historic play-off run.

With Durant, the Warriors found another gear against the Cavaliers, winning the opening two games by 22 points and 19 points respectively. Kyle Korver, an open 3 in the corner. While it's hard to tell if his down performance in the Finals was due to the concussion, the regular season matchups with the Warriors indicated Draymond Green was a matchup nightmare for him, and he's mostly been ineffective against the Warriors compared with the output we're accustomed to seeing from him against the league's 28 other teams.

"I've been working on that shot my whole life", Durant said.

"You lose 3-1 when you're up 3-1 and that's definitely tough", he said.

"I never been in this position before", Durant said. "I don't want to relax".

Golden State landed the next blows, but the Cavs kept coming back.

The Cavaliers couldn't find a bucket in the game's final minutes. So Kyrie on one hand is so good off the dribble, so good off the pick-and-roll, yet, I think the Cavs best chance here is playing offense out of the high post with LeBron, and letting him be that primary playmaker. "I'm just trying to enjoy this moment, try not to look in the future or the past".

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