The Cavaliers gave it their best punch, and the Warriors did not go down.
Or, if you want what really happened: Kevin Durant is incredible.
Durant went off for 43 points to help the Warriors to a win and a 3-0 lead, downing the Cavaliers 110-102 on their home court. The Cavaliers led by double-digits at one point in the first half, but Durant never stopped pouring it in. He helped the Warriors survive an off-night from Steph Curry, and move one step closer to another NBA title.
Game 4 Odds
Game 4 is on Friday, and will tip at 9 p.m. Eastern in Cleveland. The Warriors are opening as a 5.5-point favorite, which is the same opening number as Game 3. That number was hammered by the public, and the spread ended up closing at 3.5. The point total opens at 216, and the over is now 2-1 in this series after the under cashed for the first time on Wednesday.
The MVP odds were thrown into chaos in Game 3, as Steph Curry started the game 0-6 from distance and briefly headed to the locker room. Curry was -335 to win the award entering the game, but finished with just 11 points on 3-16 shooting. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant had a monster game, increasing his chances at winning back-to-back MVP honors. Durant finished with 13 rebounds and seven dimes in addition to his 43, and carried the Warriors offensively throughout. With a Warriors sweep likely, it’s down to these two for the award.
Game 4 Prediction
For at least the first half of Game 3, the Cavaliers showed why they won eight straight. They had increased defensive intensity, and LeBron finally got help from his supporting cast. LeBron didn’t have his best game, and he’ll need even more to continue to carry the Cavs in this series.
What really hampered LeBron is the return of Andre Iguodala. Iggy knows how to make LeBron work for every bucket, and that extra effort tires James down throughout the game. LeBron was notably quiet in the second half, and was only 3-7 in the final quarter.
And that second half was indicative of the entire series. When LeBron doesn’t do it for the Cavaliers, it doesn’t happen. It’s hard not to feel for James, who finished Game 3 with 33 points, 10 boards and 11 assists.
Looking back, it’ll be hard to rationalize why Rodney Hood didn’t play earlier in this series. Hood came off the bench and provided 15 points on 7-11 shooting, often generating his own offense in ways other players have not in this series.
Prediction: Warriors in 4