Golden State Warriors just 1 win away from NBA title

MANILA, Philippines - The Golden State Warriors are still unbeaten in the postseason after overcoming Cleveland Cavaliers’ run, 116-113 on Thursday morning (Manila Time) at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Golden State Warriors just 1 win away from NBA title
Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry combined for 57 points to win game number 3 and 3-0 series lead.
Back at home, in Cleveland Ohio, King James and his knights tried to bounce back after absorbing 2 painful losses against Kevin Durant and the Warriors at the Oracle Arena. Cavaliers played a virtual do-or-die basketball in Game 3 for no team has recovered from a 0-3 start in the entire history of NBA Finals.

It’s been said that JR Smith is the barometer of Cleveland’s game success. In contrast to his first 2 games where he only had 3 points in total, Smith had already jotted down a quick 8 points that almost matched Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson’s 9 points all from the downtown. Lebron James too had his early fair share to grab the lead 17-13.

Lebron James went down after accidentally colliding with teammate Tristan Thompson. The entire bench approached James to see if he’s ok. Lebron got up and headed to the bleachers in obvious pain. After the short break, James refused to be subbed, entered the floor and scored 7 more points.

The Cavs started to see a major problem after the Warriors made 7 three pointers with over 3 minutes left in the opener.

To summarize the first quarter, both squads got engaged in a seesaw battle with at least 7 lead changes. Lebron James already had 15 against Klay Thompson’s 16. Before the period ended, Stephen Curry drained 2 more triples for the 39-31 advantage.

Lucky breaks for Cleveland as Lebron James’ intended lobb pass to Kevin Love went in and Draymond Green was called for his 3rd personal foul. Green stayed on the court despite getting in foul trouble. Cavs made an 8-0 run to tie the game to 39 all.

Warriors’ third-string center David West gave Durant and Curry a breather while he took on the scoring chores to regain the lead.

Lebron James was still hoping to get aid from his teammates especially from Tristan Thompson so they can match the intensity brought by the Warriors. Offensively and Defensively, the rest of the Cavs struggled and can’t contain Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson from the outside. The Dub Nation carried a 6-point, 67-61 advantage at the end of the first half.

Kyrie Irving, the lone Cavalier who helped Lebron James in the first half, continued to show his support to the king at the start of the third quarter. Kevin Love along with Kyrie Irving managed to snatch the lead from the Warriors with a trey, 71-69.

The seesaw trend continued for both teams but this time it was a one-on-one showdown between Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving.

Kevin Durant who had 16 in the first half made only a point in the third while Kyle Korver hit his first trey that provided a much-needed support for Lebron james and Kyrie Irving.
As the third quarter expired, the Cavs found themselves ahead by 5, 94-89. Both James and Irving had 32 and 33 points respectively heading to the final period.

Draymond Green began the fourth by committing his 5th personal. Kyle Korver had his best finals game with another triple. To counter Cavs onslaught, the Warriors relied on their transition offense spearheaded by Klay Thompson.

Ironically, Cleveland was doing better without Tristan Thompson on the floor. Cavs were getting rebounds with Kevin Love manning the middle. However, Cavaliers’ 7-point lead didn’t take too long for them to hold onto as the splash brothers trimmed it to just 1, 108-107 with 4 more minutes left in the game.

JR Smith added 3 more points to increase their lead to 4. Kevin Durant made it a 1-possession ballgame with an easy basket. 113-111 in favor of Cavaliers with 1:15 left.

Kevin Durant drained an open three from the middle to regain the lead after quite some time. Durant got fouled after a moment and sank both free throws for the 116-113 lead and 12 ticks remaining in the game clock.

Lebron James had a chance to tie the game but he was called for a stepping on the line violation that officially handed the win to Golden State for the 3-0 lead. Kevin Durant posted 31 points and hailed as the hero of game 3.

The Warriors are now just a win away to clinch another NBA title and have the possibility of cementing another record for being the first team to win the trophy without a single loss in the postseason.

-- Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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