Ten lingering thoughts: Game 3 of the 2018 NBA Finals

08 June, 2018, 09:04 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors

That luck showed up in Game 3 in the person of Rodney Hood, the guard acquired by the Cavaliers in February, but who quickly tumbled out of the playing rotation as his shooting got increasingly erratic.

The continuation of course for the 110-102 primetime match-up comes from past year when LeBron James and crew were also denied a victory by Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the rest of the GSW in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals after suffering two back-to-back losses. "Every opportunity we get to play more minutes together, we start to figure out a better chemistry".

His final stat line said it all: 33 points on 11-of-26 shooting including 9-of-17 from beyond the arc, and a flawless 5-of-5 from long distance in the fourth quarter.

Kevin Love adds 20 points and 13 rebounds despite the Game 3 loss. "I can be a few steps slow and still just know where to be in a position so I don't have to exert too much energy". Ironically, it was center Javale McGee who spurred the run by rapidly scoring eight points - all point-blank shots created by the Warriors' offense. Curry felt establishing good communication with Durant, both on and off the field, was key to their success.

And when he wasn't carving up the Cavs in the half court, Durant exacted plenty of damage from long range and as a passer when the Cavs sent aggressive help. We were up 6 with 25 seconds to go, I think. "He's one of the smartest players in the league".

For the second straight game the Warriors off-ball movement - such as their split screens, or the Warriors just slipping a screen - confused a Cavaliers defense that is trying to switch everything but is not defensively disciplined enough to do it.

They were asking for trouble.

"I see no chance for now 'coz it's only LeBron [doing it all for Cleveland]", said the Cebuano.

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They come off a pick-and-roll and he just stopped behind and pulled four or five feet behind the three-point line. Cleveland might have found something with Hood, but it ultimately didn't create the win it so desperately needed.

"At the end of the day, if you want to compete for a championship or win a championship, you've got to go through the champion, and they're the champion". That's what this team does. At times they did make us pay. In NBA playoff history, teams down 3-0 are 0-131. Not even the most optimistic Cleveland fan could expect that to change in the coming days.

Two games into the NBA Finals it's clear that, as we knew all along, the Cleveland Cavaliers are no match for the talent-rich Golden State Warriors. "So I was definitely excited", said the 29-year-old Durant.

Another "Summer of LeBron" could start as early as Friday night. LeBron James scored 51 points and Cleveland almost pulled off a miraculous win. "We're in the NBA Finals".

A bounce here, a couple stops there, the Cavs could be leading in these finals and the conversation would be different.

James also wondered if he should have called timeout right away or if the Cavaliers even had one left. "Tonight will be tough".

"I'm not done playing basketball yet, so I don't really look at these as defining moments", he told a news conference.

The Brewers considered staying, but the team's travel plans to Philadelphia were already set and the players were going to convene at their hotel to watch the game. "I just took the shot".

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