Despite the strength in depth in the Warriors' team, Durant's performance - with 43 points and 13 rebounds - had James acknowledging the former Oklahoma City Thunder star as the difference between the two sides for the second year running. In Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night in Cleveland, Durant made his case - and it was a convincing one.
As Cleveland goes down 2-0 to the Warriors in this year's NBA Finals the talk of James' teammates are once again becoming the topic to help explain the losing.
"It was good just having him, settling the game down", guard Shaun Livingston said.
"We literally never have a conversation about who needs to take over".
"I was drunk as hell y'all i'm sorry, I wanna say sorry to the fans and Lebron, that henny go insane and i thought hennything was possible", said JR smith to reporters on Saturday. And if you're going to do that, you might as well look for a way to bet on them to win every National Basketball Association title for the next five or six years. James elaborated on the challenge the Warriors present since adding Durant.
The Quicken Loans Arena crowd got decidedly nervous, and it was tough to blame them.
The Cavs began the second quarter with an 21-9 run, James scoring eight points and Love netting the final eight for Cleveland to produce their biggest lead at 50-37.
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Iguodala has averaged 11.4 points in 18 past finals games - including a 20-point showing for Golden State in last year's title clincher against the Cavaliers. The shot, which he took from 33 feet with the shot clock winding down, made it 106-100 with 49.8 seconds to go, sending fans streaming to the exits and ending a second valiant effort from the underdog Cavaliers in the first three games of this series. Nine of those points came from a LeBron James pass. James hit Love seven times and he scored on four of those catches. It took seven games in the first round against in and they needed a superhuman effort from LeBron James against Boston in the conference finals, winning four of the final five games of the series to punch a ticket to the Finals.
Cleveland: Cleveland star LeBron James said Tuesday the NBA Finals victor will not be visiting US President Donald Trump in the White House no matter whether his Cavaliers or the Golden State Warriors win the crown.
Cleveland outrebounded Golden State 28-16 in the first half - including grabbing an absurd 10 offensive rebounds. The Cavaliers are 19-5 when he makes more than half his shot attempts.
So how were the Warriors able to keep it close?
"And I thought Durant hurt us with his one-on-one, getting to the free-throw line a little bit".
In Game 3, he returned to centrestage with a vengeance. The Warriors are up 2-0. "I remember I was sitting in the third quarter and start of the fourth where I couldn't hear anybody on our side of the ball talking".
Smith has been one of the Cavs best options from 3-point range, but he was just 1 for 4 in this game.