With wild Game 3 win, Warriors fall just short of straight A's
3 down, 1 to go
CLEVELAND -- As they prepared to meet Cleveland in the NBA Finals, we identified 5 Keys for the Warriors to sweep the series. After each game, we assess how the Warriors grade out on those factors.
Here are the grades for Game 3, a 110-102 win Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
1) CONTAIN YOU KNOW WHO
Though LeBron James posted an impressive triple-double -- 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds -- he never found an efficient groove. He shot 13-of-28 from the field, including 1-of-6 beyond the arc. He was more impactful early, as the Cavs led throughout the first half, but tailed off after halftime. The Warriors will gladly give up the triple-double, as long as James isn’t controlling the action.
2) 3-BALL PARADE
Kevin Durant was fantastic, going 6-of-9 from deep. His teammates were mostly atrocious, going 3-of-17. Stephen Curry had one of the worst deep shooting nights of his career, 1-of-10. The Cavs at their best are demoralizing opponents by draining 3-point shots. The Warriors didn’t give up much early (6-of-14 in the first half) and got even stingier late, forcing Cleveland to miss nine of its last 10 triples.
3) BE RUTHLESS
Durant was downright nasty. He came to destroy, and he accomplished his goal, crowning his evening with a merciless 3-pointer, from 33 feet, giving the Warriors a 106-100 lead with 49.6 seconds left. That shot sucked the air out of the building. Yes, the Warriors spent the first half playing from behind, trailing by as much as 13. Down the stretch, though, it was clear Durant was not going to let it get away.
4) BE CAREFUL
For the third consecutive game, the Warriors didn't punish themselves with turnovers. They committed 11 in all, leaving to 11 points for the Cavaliers. Durant committed three, but two of them were on desperation attempts from a compromised position. If the Warriors keep this up, they’re going to lose their reputation as a championship team that is prone to periods of sloppiness.
5) PLAY WITH PACE
Though they outscored the Cavaliers 19-11 on the fast break, numbers that suggest they’re getting into transition fairly often, it’s evident the Warriors have adapted to the rhythm of the series. They were minus-11 (92-81) in attempted shots, and it didn’t matter. They’re burning the Cavs when they can, but are proficient -- and comfortable -- at slow-roasting them if necessary. That is part of the joy of Durant.