They moved to the brink of that with a 118-113 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. He rose to the occasion when the Warriors needed him most, dribbling up court and drilling a pull-up three over James to give Golden State what became an insurmountable lead late in the fourth quarter.
The three-point dagger over James was exactly the type of play the Warriors must have had in mind when they signed Durant last July in hopes of avenging their 2016 NBA Finals loss to the Cavaliers. J.R. Smith played better and hit some threes, as did Kyle Korver.
"All I was looking at was the bottom of the net", said Durant, a four-times scoring champion playing his first season with Golden State. Golden State has been punishing Cleveland in transition, and the way the Warriors have blown open the first two games by scoring in bunches hasn't just taken a physical toll. Through two games, they've destroyed Cleveland by a total of 41 points and made the fourth quarter in Games 1 and 2 little more than a glorified practice session for Warriors fans to revel in with the lead firmly in hand.
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They take a 2-0 lead over Cleveland into Wednesday's Game 3, just as they did previous year. "We just got to learn from it and not try and make the same mistakes twice". He had 21 points in the first 15 minutes. That's when Golden State's Durant got a second wind.
LeBron James knew what might happen when Kevin Durant merged with the Warriors, a 73-win team out for revenge.
But this year the Warriors have Durant, and that is making all the difference.
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Stephen Bridges added he expected Jared Kushner's voice to sound like Mickey Mouse, and his guess "wasn't too far off". Elsewhere, Kushner spoke more generally of his team's goals.
Durant scored 31 points and Klay Thompson had 30 for the Warriors, who improved to 15-0 in the postseason and are on the brink of the first undefeated finish in National Basketball Association playoff history. "As an athlete, one of the best feelings is going into an opponent's and enemy territory and just silencing their crowd".
"That's past year and I don't even know the feeling anymore", LeBron James said.
"I've been working on that shot my whole life", said Durant, who has averaged 34 points through the first three games of the Finals. "He's been an fantastic player in this league for a long time, and I think he senses this is his moment, his team". They looked like they were in control of the game. The Warriors managed just 40 second-half points before their final 11-point flurry. Stay in front of them, force them into outside shots, if you can.
It's not easy to discern which of these four factors is most significant, even if Cavaliers superstar LeBron James believes he has the answer: "KD".
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If not for their meltdown a year ago, the Warriors, whose record-setting 73-win season got lost in the Finals aftermath, would be looking for a third straight crown. Green also came out at his trash-talking best, ragging on Smith for his poor play less than two minutes into the game.