The Warriors beat the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday, 118-113, to take a 3-0 lead in the series. The decisive play at the end of the game was a strip block of LeBron James by Golden State wing Andre Iguodala, off a last-moment inbound pass.
Kevin Durant had just hit a go-ahead three-pointer and two free throws in the final minute, punctuating a late 9-0 run that put Golden State ahead by three with 13 seconds to go. Iguodala’s defense was effectively the closer.
The game swung back and forth on a pendulum, but it trended toward the Cavaliers in the second half. The Warriors had a six-point lead at halftime despite a virtuoso first 24 minutes from James, who went to the locker room with 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting.
Cleveland changed its fortunes in the third quarter, when it outscored Golden State 33-22. Before that, it felt like the Cavs might waste an all-time James playoff performance. The third quarter revitalized the Cavs, but the Warriors counterpunched down the stretch. That’s what championship teams do.
This was the closest game of the series by far. It came after Golden State cruised to home wins in Games 1 and 2. Neither had drama, but this one did.
Game 4 is set for Friday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. A Golden State win would make a 16-0 postseason.