Will the Warriors pull off a historic 16-0 sweep at the NBA Finals?

Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers  getting ready for a layup during Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals.

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio. (Diya TV) — With one more victory, the 2017 Golden State Warriors will forever be in the discussion as the greatest team in NBA history. All that’s standing in their way is LeBron James, a man trying to secure his own legacy, and the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Leading the charge is Kevin Durant, the Warriors’ prized offseason acquisition, who is likely to win his first NBA Finals MVP award.

“All I was looking at was the bottom of the net. I saw he (James) was playing his heels behind the 3-point line. I’ve been working on that shot my whole life. To see that go in, that was liberating, man,” said Durant after his game-winning shot in Game 3.

Game 3 featured the high drama we expected in this series: the most lead changes (19), and the closest game so far in the 2017 NBA Finals (5 point Warriors win). The question now is if the Warriors can reach 16-0 this postseason, the first one in NBA history.

For the Cavaliers, Durant’s shot from downtown was a wake up call, reminding them that no game is out of reaching for the hungry Warriors. Icing out the Cavs, the Warriors went on an 11-0 run throughout the last few minutes of the game, despite stellar performances by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

The Warriors took the lead in the first quarter and maintained that until halftime. After James went to rest late in first quarter, the Warriors went on a 10-0 run. In the first two games of the series, the Warriors increased their lead in the third quarter. But in Game 3, it was the Cavs who shined in the 3rd. When the Warriors led 67-59, the Cavaliers came back to take the lead heading into the 4th. Kyrie Irving had 16 points in the third quarter, while Cleveland held Golden State to 22 points.

The Cavs nursed that lead until the final stretch of the 4th quarter, when KD and 2015 NBA Finals MVP, Andre Iguodala made their presence felt. Iguodala blocked James in the game’s final minute, forcing a turnover on a possession when the Cavs were down three.

History is Made

LeBron James is now 4th place on the NBA Finals scoring list (1,175 points), behind Michael Jordan (1,176 points). He also became the first player to play in 20 or more Finals games with two franchises. The Warriors are the 13th team with a 3-0 record in the finals. The have set the longest postseason record for most wins in America’s 4 major sports, breaking the record set by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL, (14-0). Stephen Curry has hit at least one 3-pointer per game in his 73 career postseason games. Golden State also broke the record for most 3-pointer made in a quarter of the finals, with 9 in the first quarter.

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers stands on the court with Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors.

What’s next?

The Cavaliers are trying to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the Finals, something that’s never been done before. When asked about the Warriors, LeBron said, “I’ve played against some great teams, but I don’t think no team has had this type of firepower.”

James and Irving played extended minutes in Game 3, and many believe fatigue played a role down the stretch. Warriors coach Steve Kerr noted, “I think Kyrie and LeBron both played the entire second half. Maybe they got a few seconds’ rest, and that’s a hard thing to do.”

The Warriors, on the other hand, are looking to secure their fifth NBA title in franchise history.

With last year’s loss still fresh in mind, the Warriors are not getting ahead of themselves.. “We talked about it since the Finals last year that the last season was a very unique year, for a lot of different reasons, and we learned a lot. I think we have grown and matured just mentally of how to just pace yourself through this long year and take every day as a new experience and something that you can kind of take control of.” said Curry on last year’s loss.

Durant, so close to winning his first NBA finals said, “I never been in this position before. I don’t want to relax. It’s not over. This is a crazy game. Anything can happen. So I don’t want to relax or feel like it’s over, it’s not.”

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