Durant's heroics give Warriors 3-0 lead

And soon, probably another National Basketball Association championship.

Defending champion Golden State, powered by 43 points from Kevin Durant, moved to the brink of a third National Basketball Association title in four seasons on Wednesday by defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-102.

Afterward, the defending champs could be heard loudly celebrating inside their locker room, perhaps a warmup for a bigger party to come.

It's hard enough to beat the Warriors once, but now down 2-0 in the series, the Cavs essentially have to win four out of the next five to win the series.

It might be time for the guys from Northern California to order some champagne from Napa Valley. The mystery is gone, and Golden State - which hasn't lost four consecutive games in the same season since 2013, back when Mark Jackson was coaching the Warriors instead of calling their games on ABC and ESPN - needs only to avoid an apocalyptic collapse to win their third title in four years.

CLEVELAND, Ohio - On a night when most of the Golden State Warriors didn't have it, Kevin Durant went on an offensive explosion.

As always Durant stayed cool.

"I don't understand how, in order to talk about how great LeBron is we need to s-- on everybody else", Bryant said.

"Just got to be better", Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said tersely when asked about the defensive issues.

"No, not at all", he said. "He just never gets exhausted, even when he's been out 2 1/2 weeks".

The Warriors don't want the déjà vu of losing in Game 4. "Tomorrow I'll replay some plays and some moments, things of that nature".

The Warriors opened a door for the Cavaliers to win a game. There are just 27 of them total outside of LeBron.

Nearly a year to the day of last year's Game 4 loss, Durant and the Warriors can redeem themselves if they sweep the Cavaliers on Friday night.

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There's still a long way to go until the Cavaliers are back to contending against the Warriors in the NBA Finals, but plays like this certainly give Cavaliers fans hope that the series is not over yet.

Stephen Curry, who missed 13 of his first 14 shots, conncted on a layup and 3-pointer back-to-back to give Golden State the lead for good.

Golden State shot 52 percent from the floor, but neither team was sharp from long-distance - each canning nine triples on the night.

These Cavs can't figure it out.

Iguodala took home the award in the Warriors' 2015 triumph, while Durant took home the honours last season for his spectacular series.

In Kevin Durant's two years with the Golden State Warriors, there may not be a better example of the lift he has provided the team than Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

While the Warriors enjoyed a great party in Oakland, California, after winning the title in five games past year, Durant does not want to play with fire.

Kerr says Durant's generous pay cut allowed the team to keep Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, which will hopefully lead to Durant and the team winning more titles. "The one he made tonight was about four or five feet behind the one he made past year. He's a scorer. You know, he's an assassin and that was one of those assassin plays right there".

Cleveland did what it had been saying it would do for two days - come out better on home court - and the Cavs led for the entire first half, thanks in part to bad shooting from the Warriors.

James arrived at 6 p.m. dressed more casually - camouflage trousers, purple hoodie, "Billionaire Boys Club" baseball cap - than on the road where he and the Cavs have been wearing suits during the postseason.

The Warriors had other plans. Beyond that, James would have to accept a serious hit to his legacy if he were to sign with the team that has dominated the National Basketball Association for much of the last four seasons.

Perkins spoke - in his own unique way - about Durant in the wake of his 43-point Game 3 performance.

The key tonight for Cleveland will be Kyle Korver. Furthermore, the four made shots from 30 feet out by Durant were more than any team has made in a playoff game in the past 20 postseasons. Only Derek Fisher (259), Tim Duncan (251) and Robert Horry (244) have made most postseason appearances. But he returned to play late in the third quarter and finished with two rebounds and one assist in 22 minutes.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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