Post Up: Still Perfect

by June 08, 2017
Golden State Warriors

Warriors 118, Cavaliers 113 (Golden State leads 3-0)

Despite a raucous Q crowd, Golden State looked comfortable early in Game 3. They set an NBA Finals record with NINE three-pointers in the 1st quarter, dropping a casual 39 points.

But Cleveland hung tough, thanks in large part to LeBron James (27 first half points) and Kyrie Irving (17 first half points).

The Warriors were up 67-61 at the break. Given how third quarters went in the Bay (GS outscored CLE 68-44), one might have presumed the Cavs were done. Far from it.

Kyrie went full Uncle Drew in Wednesday’s third act, scoring 16 of his 38 total points. “I stayed aggressive all night,” he later told reporters. For the first time all series, Cleveland took a lead after the opening quarter. They held a 94-89 advantage heading into the 4th.

Every time the Cavs threatened to pull away, the Warriors stormed back; and in the final three minutes, Kevin Durant (31p, 8r) put his greatness on display:

Afterwards, Steve Kerr said of KD: “You can tell, he knows this is his moment. He’s been an amazing player in this league for a long time, and I think he senses this is his time…I think he’s having the time of his life out there.” Kyrie also touched upon Durant’s brilliance in his postgame press conference, admitting that he’ll probably be “replaying” that big time three-pointer “for a while.”

Klay Thompson affirmed that his slump is over, going for 30 on 11/18 from the field (including 16 in the 1st quarter alone). “Whenever you make your first couple,” he said, “you feel good.”

In a contest where Kyrie (38p, 6r, 3a) and LeBron (39p, 11r, 9a) combined for 77 points, Cleveland still couldn’t get the win. “This is probably the most firepower I’ve played in my career,” James stated, “…So even when you’re playing well, you got to play like A plus plus, because they’re going to make runs and they’re going to make shots and they got guys that’s going to make plays.”

No team has ever come back from 3-0 in the Finals, but the Warriors are staying locked in.

“The job’s not done,” KD said, “closeout games are always the toughest.” Tune in Friday.