Cleveland's LeBron James goes to the basket against Golden State's Jordan Bell as Kevin Durant looks on in the first half of Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday in Cleveland. AP
CLEVELAND — LeBron James and the Cavaliers are on the verge of getting swept.
Behind a sensational performance from Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors recorded a 110-102 victory Wednesday in Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena and can win their third title in four years with a win in Game 4 on Friday.
Durant finished with 43 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists on a night when Golden State’s Stephen Curry went 3-for-16 from the field and 1-for-10 on 3-pointers in an 11-point, five-rebound, six-assist performance.
For much of the night, center JaVale McGee (10 points) was the Warriors’ second-leading scorer. Klay Thompson also finished with 10, as did Draymond Green, who added nine assists.
James had a triple-double with 33 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the Cavs, while Kevin Love had 20 points and 13 boards, but just five points and three rebounds after intermission.
Rodney Hood was terrific with 15 points and J.R. Smith added 13, but only three in the second half. Kyle Korver’s struggles continued, as he went scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting as Cleveland lost at home for just the second time in 10 playoff games.
Neither team led by more than three points in the fourth quarter until Curry, who was 2-for-15 from the field and 0-for-9 from behind the arc to that point, buried a 3-pointer to put the Warriors up 101-97 with 2:36 to play.
The Cavs got three shots on their next possession, with James finally hitting a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game with 1:58 left
Golden State’s Andre Iguodala, playing for the first time in The Finals, then scored on a dunk and Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson missed inside, setting up the biggest shot of the game.
Durant, who carried the Warriors all night, buried a 28-footer to put his team up 106-100 with 49.8 ticks on the clock. The teams exchanged hoops before the Cavs’ Smith missed a 3-pointer, marking the beginning of the end for Cleveland.
The Warriors started the third quarter on an 11-3 run and took their first lead, 63-61, on a pair of Curry free throws with 9:57 left in the period. Golden State extended that spurt to 17-6 to go up 69-64 and led by five on several other occasions as well, but had to settle for an 83-81 advantage heading into the fourth.
Having squandered a 12-point lead in the first period, the Cavs went up 50-37 with four minutes left in the half, but the Warriors trailed just 58-52 at intermission thanks to 24 points from Durant.
Thompson and Curry were just 3-for-15 from the field over the opening two quarters, including 1-for-9 on 3-pointers, while an aggressive James had 14 points, six boards and nine assists for the Cavs and an assertive Love had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Warriors stayed close by going 12-for-13 at the line, while Cleveland didn’t attempt a free throw. That led to Cavs owner Dan Gilbert posting a picture on Twitter of the first-half box score with the free throw numbers circled.
Cleveland also got a brief scare when James rolled his right ankle with 7½ minutes left in the second period, but he simply re-tied his shoe and scored on a left-hand drive on the next possession.
The Cavs couldn’t have started the game any better, as they scored on their first five possessions and eventually went up 16-4.
Love and Smith began the game with corner 3-pointers, and soon after James caused the crowd to go bonkers by firing the ball off the backboard and then chasing it down for a dunk. Technically, he was credited with a shot attempt and offensive rebound prior to scoring off what was essentially his own lob pass.
Curry picked up his second foul with 6:21 left in the period, while Green and Tristan Thompson were hit with double technical fouls at the 5:37 mark.
After all that, the Cavs couldn’t sustain, as the Warriors tied the game at 26 with a 16-6 run and trailed just 29-28 after one.
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