Home » Sports » NBA: Sweet Smell of revenge

NBA: Sweet Smell of revenge

Durant’s dagger 3 lifts Warriors over Cavaliers.

CLEVELAND (AP) – Kevin Durant drained the shot of his professional life – a 3-pointer with 45.3 seconds left – and scored 31 points as the Golden State Warriors moved within one win of postseason perfection and payback by rallying to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 118-113, on Wednesday night to take a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals.

The Warriors trailed by six with three minutes left before Durant, who signed with Golden State last summer to win a championship, brought them back, scoring 14 in the fourth.

With their 15th straight win, the Warriors have the longest postseason streak for any team in the four major professional sports.

And with a victory in Game 4 on Friday night, Golden State can exorcise those haunting demons from last June when the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals to the Cavaliers. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit.

Klay Thompson added 30 points and Stephen Curry had 26 for the Warriors, who are one win from their second title in three years.

LeBron James shook off a knee-buckling blow to the chin while scoring 39 and Kyrie Irving added 38 for the Cavs, who took a 113-107 lead with 3:09 left on J.R. Smith’s 3-pointer.

Curry hit a layup and after both James and Irving missed for the Cavs, Durant dropped his 3 – a shot that could be the one most remembered in this magnificent run by the Warriors.

“All I was looking at was the bottom of the net,” Durant said. “I’ve been working on that shot my whole life. To see that go in, that was liberating, man. We’ve got one more to go.”

After the Warriors went up, Irving missed a 3 from his favorite spot on the right side and the Warriors closed it out with four free throws in the final 12.9 seconds before celebrating briefly on the floor and then charging down the hallway to their locker room.

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 weaknesses.

James and Irving were relentless in the second half and it appeared they had done enough to get Cleveland over the top and perhaps back in the series.

Durant, though, was not going to be denied. Not after getting this close, not after enduring so much criticism for leaving Oklahoma City and not with a chance to put the Cavaliers in an insurmountable hole.

comments