Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Warriors a win away from claiming back-to-back titles

Warriors a win away from claiming back-to-back titles

This is the fourth consecutive year they are battling Cleveland in the NBA Finals and they are aiming for their third crown.

Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala has been upgraded to a game-time decision for Wednesday's Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the host Cleveland Cavaliers, coach Steve Kerr told reporters.

All of these events were downright ideal for the Cavs: Stephen Curry's shooting game was bad for most of the night, Klay Thompson's wasn't much better, the Cavs led by as many as 13 in the first half and some non-producers from the first two games of these NBA Finals were starting to finally give James the contributions he's craved.

The Warriors became the first team in history to take a 3-0 lead in back-to-back Finals. But one of the misses was on objective.

Despite all four other Warrior starters netting double-figures, none finished with more than 11 points.

Clutch play: One reason the Cavs are still standing at this point in the season is that they have been excellent in crunch time, winning seven of 10 playoff games that the National Basketball Association deems as clutch (within five points with five minutes to go).

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The Warriors ended Q3 with just a two-point lead at 83-81, which seemed to embolden the Cavs as the home side came roaring back into the lead with just over nine minutes left in the game.

And yet again, they find themselves trailing 3-0 to Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and the Golden State Warriors. They got a little of both.

There are nights when the Warriors win by the grace of their fluid offensive scheme, and others when they rely on the singular exploits of Kevin Durant. "The one he made tonight was about four or five feet behind the one he made past year".

The Raptors' oh-fer here doesn't even quite explain the level of dominance.

James led the Cavaliers with 33 points.

"At the end of the day, if you want to compete for a championship or win a championship, you've got to go through the champion, and they're the champion". The Cavs lost a heartbreaker in Game 3 a year ago, ultimately losing the series in five games.

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James scored 33 points and Kevin Love added 20 for the Cavs, who have fallen into a hole in which no team has ever emerged. The rims are supposed to be the same, but the results are quite different.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said his team has to play more physically and that he would give seldom-used swingman Rodney Hood more of an opportunity.

Game 1 of this series will be remembered by how Cleveland let it get away; the botched rebound by Smith to be forever played as one of those quintessential wish-you-had-it-back moments.

The fourth quarter began with a rested LeBron James taking charge at the point, scoring or assisting on the first eight Philadelphia baskets.

In Cleveland, the rim shrunk for Warriors' sharpshooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

To be fair, what makes the Warriors such a hard matchup is that they cut down their opponents' margins for error to such narrow gaps that no one can play with the discipline and attention to detail required to take advantage of those gaps four times in seven games.

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