Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Cavs' Smith says Game 3 defeat hurts more

Cavs' Smith says Game 3 defeat hurts more

When these Finals began, there were many wondering if the Cleveland Cavaliers would be able to compete with the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors are on dynasty's doorstep.

It was 56-56 going into the locker room at the half and the game looked like it just might be competitive.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, are in a hole that might as well be six feet deep.

He's not conceding. But he is clearly tipping his cap to the Warriors, his nemesis in each of the last four Junes and a team that's one win shy of beating him in three of those series.

It might be time for the guys from Northern California to order some champagne from Napa Valley.

Thanks to Durant scoring 38, Golden State also beat Cleveland in Game 1 previous year despite Klay Thompson shooting 3-for-16.

As always Durant stayed cool. "I don't want to downplay anything, but I don't want to act like this is the end of the road".

They did not. And it was because Durant wasn't just his best self on Wednesday night.

"These are some of the greatest teams in the world, ever", McGee said.

"No, not at all", he said. "I just like the way he's attacking".

BC-BKN-On Basketball-Durant's Shot, 901On Basketball: Durant shoots down Cavs with long 3 - againAP Photo OHMC179, OHMC162, OHMC201Eds: With AP Photos.

"Tonight will be tough", said James, who scored 33 and rolled his right ankle in the first half. But I think he's getting closer, and I'm hopeful that he can play. "We just have to be ready".

Game 4 is Friday night in Cleveland.

James attempted only three shots in the fourth quarter, as the game snowballed out of control early, and he was able to sit for the final four minutes.

"The margin for error is so thin and so little against them that in some cases you nearly have to be ideal", Kevin Love said.

The NBA Finals might not be good for your heart rate. He passed the previous record set by Ray Allen in 2010 of 8 field goals made from 3-point range.

Perhaps the key question surrounding Game 3 is whether the Cavaliers can muster the same type of energy and effort they used for an inspired Game 1 effort that memorably came up short amid a flurry of questionable calls and J.R. Smith's infamous mental gaffe on the final play of regulation. But if he's not, the Warriors will find a way.

These Cavs can't figure it out.

Curry and his fellow Splash Bro, Klay Thompson, are now tied for the most three-pointers made in a single postseason at 98, a record that will likely stand for a very long time (unless one of the two breaks it themselves). All he had to do is hold for the final shot and a possible win. Cleveland would make a push and Curry would answer. "First year, it was 1-1", Kerr said. It was awarded to Durant previous year and Andre Iguodala in 2015. To put that into perspective, Curry has drilled 56 three's so far this postseason, despite sitting out the Warriors' first six playoff games (he's appeared in 13 games).

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. Smith has played very poorly this series, and his playing time would be much less than it is now if Dwyane Wade were still on the team or if Rodney Hood wasn't in Ty Lue's doghouse.

The Warriors had other plans.

Rakuten's agreement with the Warriors is reportedly worth $60 million over three years, making it the league's most expensive patch deal, although the company has declined to disclose financial details. Green is second with 387, while James is third at 381.

Cavaliers: Kyle Korver continued to struggle. James (238) broke a tie with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and moved into fourth place for the most playoff games.

Stephen Curry is playing like an NBA Finals MVP, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson have been brilliant, and Draymond Green is quietly averaging a near triple-double. "His defense was strong, whoever he was up against - LeBron or someone else - and his toughness makes everyone out there better".

Since a humbling 18-point home-court loss to the Indiana Pacers to open the postseason, Cleveland has won eight straight in Northeast Ohio. They've been great for 20 years. There are just 27 of them total outside of LeBron. "For himself, that was just a huge moment".

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