CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers did not score a point over the final three-plus minutes, and a late spurt from small forward Kevin Durant gave the Golden State Warriors a 118-113 victory in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday night.
With the win, the Warriors took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series heading into tonight’s Game 4 matchup in Cleveland.
“We could have gotten better,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. “Did a good job of attacking the paint all night, and then, they don't have a lot of shot blockers in the game, they went small. (Those were) shots that our guys are capable of making, but we should have been more aggressive getting to the paint.”
As the clock ticked under a minute, Durant secured a defensive rebound and dribbled the ball over to the left wing, where he pulled up and knocked down a 26-foot three-pointer, which gave Golden State a 114-113 lead over the Cavaliers.
Then, Durant and point guard Stephen Curry closed out the game with two free throws each.
Durant led the Warriors with 31 points on 10-of-18 shooting, including a four-for-seven mark from three-point range. Durant added eight rebounds, four assists, one steal and a blocked shot over 41 minutes of action.
In addition to Durant, the Warriors got double-digit production from Curry, who scored 26 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to go along with six assists and two steals, while shooting guard Klay Thompson knocked down six triples on his way to 30 markers.
“If you miss shots, you get out in transition, and they play so fast, so when you miss shots, you've got to have good floor balance because if you don't, they take advantage of it,” Lue said.
Point guard Kyrie Irving and small forward LeBron James led the way for the Cavaliers, as they totaled 38 and 39 points, respectively. James knocked down 15 of his 27 attempts, including four of his nine looks from three-point range. He corralled 11 rebounds, handed out nine assists, stole one pass and blocked a shot in the losing effort.
After struggling through Games 1 and 2, Irving knocked down 16 of his 29 looks from the field despite missing all seven of his three-point tries on the way to 38 points. Irving added six rebounds and three assists in 44 minutes of play.
However, late in the game, the Cavaliers missed their final eight shots, including a three-point attempt from shooting guard Kyle Korver on a drive-and-kick from James with 52 seconds to play.
Additionally, Irving and power forward Kevin Love each missed layups from just two feet away, and in the final 30 seconds, Irving came up short on a step-back triple try.
“You want to attack the paint,” Lue said. “You want to put the pressure on them, and if they helped, I thought Korver got a clean look. And just putting the pressure on them. If they help, you've got to make the right play, which LeBron always does. And if they don't, they get all the way to the basket because they don't have shot blockers.”