The Golden State Warriors romped to a 3-0 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals series early Thursday with a 110-102 victory on the night.
LeBron James scored 33 points (a 10th career NBA finals triple-double), limited Warriors star guard Steph Curry to just one three-point shot, but his dream of winning more than one championship ring with the Cavaliers is all but over before he becomes a free agent in the off season.
Golden State were just too good on the night, and despite an off-colour showing from Curry, Kevin Durant, the superstar forward who signed with the Warriors before last season, connected on 6-for-9 attempts from three-point range, scored a playoff career-high 43 points and added 13 rebounds to stun the Quicken Loans Arena.
Feeding off the thunder of their crowd, Cleveland opened their biggest lead of the series at 13 points and maintained a double-digit advantage through much of the first two quarters.
But in comes Durant, using his long arms to shoot over the Cavs’ defenders, almost single-handedly keeping Golden State in the game at half-time when they trailed just 58-52.
Then, as is so often the case, the Warriors exploded in the third quarter, using a quick 9-3 spurt after the break to level the score and taking off from there.
JaVale McGee scored on a series of lay-ups, Curry started to find his range and Durant kept pouring in bucket after bucket. Curry hit two free throws with 9:57 left in the third to give Golden State their first lead, stretching the margin as much as five.
With just under three minutes left in the fourth, the Warriors started to take control as Curry scored on a lay-up, then hit his only three-pointer of the night (after missing his first nine), followed by another three-pointer from Durant to put Golden State up 106-100 as they coasted to victory.