Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Kevin Durant’s heroics against Cavaliers pull Warriors to brink of championship repeat

Brian Windhorst picks the two biggest factors in LeBron's free agency decision Brian Windhorst picks the two biggest factors in LeBron's free agency decision
Rita Gibson | 09 June, 2018, 10:55

It was the Warriors third NBA title in four straight NBA Finals - all against Cleveland.

"We used the experience previous year to our advantage", Curry said.

And the Cavaliers will need to win two on the bounce to force another game at the Quicken Loans Arena. This time a year ago, Cleveland played an almost-perfect offensive game to win Game 4 and extend the series for a "gentlemen's sweep" in five.

Radio broadcaster and Basketball Hall of Famer Hubie Brown was injured shortly before Game 4 of the NBA Finals and was taken to a nearby hospital with an apparent knee injury.

It may have been the final game in Cleveland for the 33-year-old, who is expected to opt out of his $35.6 million contract for 2019 next month and become a free agent. James said he kept the injury a secret because he didn't want the Warriors to know and take advantage.

But unlike 2010 where jerseys were burned, a possible exit won't have any of that animosity. Tonight, he addressed why he returned in 2014. Sometimes you can give everything you've got and still come up short. James still shot 49% from the field over the last three games, but just 27% on three-point attempts with fewer than four attempts per game. "It's just the talent we have and the experience we've gained". "Getting up every day, going to work with these guys, it's awesome. For us to be able to be here again, we can't get enough of this feeling". After outscoring opponents in that period by 199 during the regular season and 141 to that point in the playoffs, they beat the Cavs 25-13 Friday night, ending it up 86-65.

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So this series is just about finished, or at least, that's what the history books say.

"It's a journey that's better than the destination". James paid his dues to Cleveland. The Warriors demolished anything left in yet another of their signature third-quarter runs, extending their lead to 21 points before winning 108-85 in Cleveland.

Golden boys: Kevin Durant, second from left, celebrates after the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers.

Then the league's best team tightened the screws on Cleveland in the third quarter, outscoring the Cavs 25-13 and prompting Golden State fans to begin those drawn-out "War-eee-orrss" chants that provide a ideal musical accompaniment to their 3-point barrages.

James was removed with 4:03 remaining and congratulated the Warriors before taking a seat on the bench.

Curry also addressed the Durant luxury specifically: "He helps the situation, but we don't walk on the floor like, 'Oh, there is K.D. We're good.' We still have to play and play hard and play well".

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