While the Warriors have made it look easy through most of the postseason, Game 3 served as a reminder that this team is capable of overcoming adversity, too.
Flawless as in no blown defensive assignments. "He knew he was taking that shot the whole way". Flawless as in not turning the ball over. However the Cavaliers shot 60.9% on two-point field goals, which forced the Warriors' defense to collapse in the paint on numerous occasions, often leaving a weak-side shooter wide open.
And, oh, by the way, the Warriors?
In most seasons, these Cavaliers would be more than good enough to win a championship.
Time is of the essence for LeBron, whose career record in the NBA Finals is 17-26.
He's never looked better as a defender-his stint at center in Game 2 effectively swung the game-but most critically, he's looked loose and confident as a scorer. None of that improvement has mattered.
There's every chance it will. Curry is expected to sign a long-term contract with the Warriors after the season following years of being a salary bargain. In short, nearly impossible.
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"We're not going to give in", Cavs head coach Ty Lue claimed Thursday. A lot of people said we couldn't. So by no means are we giving in. Or Magic Johnson. Or any of the other players in the "Best Ever" conversation.
The Cavaliers, however, are no stranger to defying odds. He just had to come in and just do what he had to do.
Durant came out hot in the first quarter, hitting two triples in the first 150 seconds.
The Warriors used an 11-0 run over the last three minutes in Game 3 to erase a six-point deficit and put themselves one win away from capturing a second title in three years.
It's really not up to the Cavs.
"We still remember what happened past year. Tomorrow's another important opportunity ... to continue the series", said LeBron James, averaging a Finals triple-double but admitting after Game 3 that he felt "drained" in the exasperating round.
James and Irving finished with 39 and 38 points respectively. Irving can't be much better than that. It would be a fitting ending to what has been a remarkable season, and the culmination of everything this team was supposed to be from the moment Kevin Durant chose to join the core of a roster that had already won 73 regular season games a season ago last July.
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"No matter who I'm going against, if I'm going against four Hall of Famers. or if I'm going against two, or whatever the case may be, I'm always excited to play the game". If I become an owner, I'm going to try to sign everybody. And they're a hungry group. And obviously this team is built to be able to do that with the talent that they have. It's not one guy on that team that's selfishly looking for himself and not the team. It's sports. You have an opportunity to sign one of the best players, and you can do it, go ahead and do it.
There's Steph Curry, hoping to shed last year's subpar performance in the NBA Finals, when he was hampered by injury.
Now, LeBron can only respond to the questions that are given to him, and when asked what type of team he's dealing with in the Warriors, you can tell he was being honest in giving accolades to them.
"It was like a natural shock how that game ended", Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving said.
"It did take a little bit of time, but for the most part their talents fit together pretty naturally".
"But I don't know". Like I saw it, no, I saw it, I just.
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"By just getting rid of a couple pieces in Harrison Barnes and not re-signing (Leandro) Barbosa and (Andrew) Bogut and guys from last year's team. that allowed them to go do that", James said of signing Durant.