CLEVELAND, Ohio (USA TODAY) – It’s not over.
But it’s over, right?
Has to be.
The unstoppable Golden State Warriors took a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals with a 118-113 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
Kevin Durant’s three-pointer with 45 seconds left gave Golden State a 114-113 lead, and Steph Curry and Durant secured the victory with four free throws.
With Golden State leading 116-113, Cleveland had a chance to tie the score, but LeBron James turned the ball over by stepping out of bounds with 10.4 seconds remaining.
12 seconds to play in Game 3. CLE 🏀 pic.twitter.com/47VReSvRcC— NBA (@NBA) June 8, 2017
Cleveland took a 113-107 lead on J.R. Smith’s three-pointer with 3:09 left in the fourth quarter, but Golden State finished the game on an 11-0 run.
The Warriors set a Finals record for three-pointers made in a quarter (nine in the first) and in a half (12) and finished 16-for-33 from beyond the arc. Durant (31 points), Curry (26 points) and Klay Thompson (30 points) combined for 87 points.
James can do a lot of everything at a high level, but he can’t do it all. He scored 27 of his game-high 39 points in the first half, and Kyrie Irving rediscovered his shooting touch to finish with 38 points. James also had 11 rebounds and nine assists.
It was Cleveland’s best effort of the three games, and it didn’t yield a victory.
The Warriors can finish off the Cavaliers on Friday (9 p.m. ET, ABC) and complete another sweep.
Golden State is on the verge of history. Unbeaten at 15-0 in the playoffs, the Warriors can become the first team to sweep all four rounds and finish with a perfect playoff record.
The Cavaliers are staring at a dire sporting situation: No team in any round of the playoffs has come back from a 3-0 deficit.
Granted no team had come back from a 3-1 Finals deficit until Cleveland did it last season, but this is different and everyone from the smartest basketball mind to the casual fan knows that.
Cleveland threw a flurry of punches, and Golden State withstood them. Now, the Warriors are one victory from one of the most impressive championships in NBA history.