Warriors on verge of sweeping Cavs in NBA Finals

Doug Mendoza
June 8, 2018

Cleveland threw the first punch with a 14-4 run to start the first quarter, but Durant allowed Golden State to hang around with 13 first-quarter points on 4-of-4 shooting. The latest was the last round against Boston, when the Celtics won the first two games at TD Garden but James and the Cavaliers took the series in seven. Durant scored 24 points in the first half on 7-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Cleveland is averaging 17.5 offensive rebounds and 20.0 second-chance points so far in this series. They're not going to beat themselves.

LeBron James is on.

James is up to 14 points, six assists and five rebounds midway through the second quarter, leading Cleveland to a 44-34 advantage.

After Durant scored, Curry and Green rushed to his side and the trio walked back toward Golden State's bench where the other Warriors were hugging and high-fiving. Thompson, his backcourt mate, is 1 for 6.

Curry called it "supreme confidence". He was an elite player before he went to Golden State. "LeBron James, I guess", he said with a laugh.

The Cavaliers quickly made seven of their first 13 shots - and throw out one of the misses, because it was on goal.

Another "Summer of LeBron" could start as early as Friday night.

J.R. Smith and Kevin Love both made 3-pointers and scored five points in the strong start. It was reminiscent of the outing last year that gave the Warriors a 118-113 win in Game 3 and sets Golden State up for a chance at a third championship in four years in Game 4 on Saturday.

Keep in mind, the Cleveland Indians game will be wrapping up as many Cavs fans head downtown. All of the previous 13 have won the series. The Cavs are one of four teams to dig out of an 0-2 hole in the Finals, and they're trying to get back from 0-2 for the fourth time in playoff franchise history.

Iguodala has been dealing with a bone bruise around his left knee.

Durant capped that half with a deep 3-pointer in the final seconds before walking toward the locker room - which served as foreshadowing. Even though the Warriors are up two games to none, the Dubs expect Game 3 to be the toughest one of the series. Since joining the Warriors, he had connected on only two 3s from 30-plus feet and had never done it a couple of times in game throughout his career. Hood only played four minutes in the first two games. He's now about to be a two-time champion because he went to Golden State.

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Rodney Hood's insertion into Cleveland's rotation won't catch the Warriors off guard.

They just couldn't stop Kevin Durant. Golden State is just 1-2 in Game 3s of the Finals against the Cavs, with losses here in 2015 and 2016.

Lue didn't say which player would lose minutes to Hood, nor did he address any other potential adjustments or lineup changes. He's a good driver. "We know it. We'll see if we can do it".

Hood had a rough go against the Warriors in the playoffs a year ago, making just 1 of 15 3s for the Jazz.

Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said the team understand the series will be a short one if they can not win at home.

Of course, it bears noting that Chamberlain grabbed his in only 36 games. Klay Thompson played in his NBA-high 390th game over the last four seasons. "He's an assassin, and that was one of those assassin plays". He's now tied with Reggie Miller as the only shooters to do that in 42 straight postseason contests away from home.

James has good reason to think the Cavs will be better when the ball goes up on their home court, where they have dropped only one game this post-season.

"I always believe the role players play much better at home than they do on the road", James told reporters in Cleveland on Tuesday. Most of the guys also wore suits to the games in Oakland. James and Jordan both have scored at least that many 109 times in playoff games.

"Andre helps us in every regard", Kerr said after the Warriors' shootaround practice Wednesday. "We have to withstand that and we have to do our best to avoid fouling, which we did not do a good job with in Game 2."RELATED: Cavs hope to get back in series in Game 3 vs Warriors " We're up 2-0".

No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit in the National Basketball Association playoffs.

But a lot of the angst won't be about the Warriors, it will be about James.

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