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James and Irving shine but Cavaliers on the brink of a sweep as Warriors take Game 3

Henry Golden

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Get the brooms out of the closet and dust them off because Friday might be the night the Golden State Warriors sweep the entire playoffs and win the NBA championship.

Game three last night was a total nail bitter and was definitely the best game so far in these NBA finals. The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers went toe to toe the entire game and neither team was able to blow the game open. Both teams fought extremely hard and the Cavaliers looked re energized and seemed like they did their homework and learned how to keep up with the fast moving offense of the Warriors without being gassed heading into the second half of the game. They held Kevin Durant to just 16 first half  points as the Cavaliers locked down defensively and did not allow the Warriors to drain three after three especially in transition.

However, Kevin Durant was able to take over the fourth quarter especially late in the game and he made crucial baskets and eventually hit the go ahead three pointer with forty-five seconds on the clock over LeBron James. He continued his scoring spree and added another 30 point performance to his finals resume. Durant finished with 31 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists and hit very important free throws in the dying seconds when the game was still in the balance.

Klay Thompson also came alive once again after performing well in game two. He finished with 30 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Thompson was also 6-11 from three-point range and every time the Cavaliers seemed to have momentum at some point during the game, he would take that away with three-point basket or a strong move to the rim.

Steph Curry also killed the Cavaliers momentum at times with his three pointers. Curry was 5-9 from three-point range and finished with 26 points and dazzled the crowd as usual with his crazy long range shots that hit nothing but net. With Curry hitting 26 points in game three it allowed him, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant to be just the sixth trio of teammates to each score 25+ points in a non-OT NBA finals game.

Along with the Warriors fantastic play once again, the Cavaliers stepped up their game and also played extremely well throughout game three.

LeBron James was phenomenal the whole entire night and ended the game with 39 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists but had three crucial mistakes in the final minutes of the game. He kicked the ball out to Kyle Korver (who missed the three-point shot) when he should have laid the ball up and potentially drawn a foul, he did not close out and allowed Kevin Durant run up the court and take a spot up three-point shot right in his face and then followed that up with a turnover when trying to tie the game up with a late three-point shot.

Kyrie Irving was also impressive with his performance in game three as he finishing with 38 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. When the moment was dire it seemed that Irving would put a defender on skates and drive to the basket and finish with some kind of circus shot. His play in the second half allowed the Cavaliers pull away for a brief moment and gave the Cavaliers a cushion of a lead which felt they were going to ride to the finish line and pull out the win. However, the Warriors were able to hold the Cavaliers off and not let them score for the last three minutes in the fourth quarter and were able to scratch and claw themselves into the lead and eventually the win.

The Cavaliers were so close to making this a competitive series and now the question is if they can come back from a 3-0 deficit. People may say that they have a shot at winning in seven because of last year when they came back from a 3-1 hole to win the finals. However, this year is completely different. This Warriors team is much better than last years 73-9 team and Kevin Durant is the x factor. There is no chance he or any of the players who faced the agony of defeat to the Cavaliers last year are going to blow this huge lead.

Game four is back in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena Friday night as LeBron James and company try to avoid a sweep and keep their championship hopes alive and try to bring the series back to Oakland.