Category: PRO HOOPS

N.B.A. Finals: Warriors Stun Cavs With Late Surge to Win Game 3

08cavs4-jumboIn an absolutely stunning defeat, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had led for much of the second half, fell apart in the closing seconds of Game 3 of the N.B.A. finals and ended up losing to the Golden State Warriors, 118-113. Golden State, after an 11-0 run at the end of the game, now has a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.

In the final 3 minutes and 10 seconds of Game 3, the Cavaliers saw their chances of an upset in these finals essentially evaporate. The Warriors closed the game on a huge run that was all Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, with Durant’s 26-foot 3-pointer with 45 seconds remaining putting the team on top to stay, 114-113.

The run seemed to come out of nowhere, with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving dominating for much of the second half, combining for 77 points in the game. The two-man dominance was simply not enough, even with a solid effort from J.R. Smith, thanks to the Warriors’ stacked lineup. Klay Thompson, Durant and Curry combined for 87 points, with Durant leading the way with 31 and Curry improbably tying Kevin Love as the game’s top rebounder with 13.

With the win, the Warriors have now extended their postseason record to 15 consecutive games, and in Friday’s Game 4 have a chance to be the first team to complete a postseason undefeated. Needless to say, no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the N.B.A. finals. But if there is a glimmer of hope for the stunned Cavaliers, no team had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit until last year when Cleveland did that against Golden State.

LEBRON JAMES THROWS UP AN INSANE STAT LINE; BROOKLYN BLOWS A CHANCE TO STEAL A WIN

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Sometimes we wish the NBA was more like the NFL. In football, you must bring your best effort or you’ll be left looking like Mark Sanchez on Monday Night Football, getting your skills compared to Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite. But in basketball, the best teams can drift through games, and then turn up the intensity when they absolutely have to. It happened in Miami last night during the Heat’s 103-92 win over Minnesota. Midway through the third, the Wolves had led most of the way before LeBron (22 points, seven rebounds, 11 assists, four blocks… the fifth time in the last 15 years he’s put up those numbers. No one else has done it.) had passes on two consecutive possessions that almost had us spitting out our dinner. First, he threw a backdoor lob to Chris Bosh, who finished with a reverse. Then, James caught a pass on the break and in one motion without coming down out of the air, flicked it forward with a bounce pass to Dwyane Wade (24 points) for a layup. Miami rolled the rest of the way … Kevin Love (18 boards) outrebounded Miami by himself in the first quarter. For a while, he was hitting the glass so aggressively we thought he might challenge the 30-rebound mark, helping to make up for the fact that no one notices he’s shooting 36 percent this year … Toronto ran away from the Cavs in the second half of their 113-99 win. Jose Calderon (23 points, six dimes) was obviously reading DimeMag.com yesterday. After we called him out for basically not being a starting-caliber guard, the Spaniard went out and outplayed Kyrie Irving (23 points, seven assists) for long portions of the game … Speaking of the site, Dion Waiters told us yesterday in his new Rookie Journal that before he got hurt, he hadn’t been attacking the rim like he wanted to. Last night, he had a finish that made whoever originally made the Wade/Waiters comparison look like a genius … Behind 21 a piece from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer, as well as Joakim Noah‘s second-career triple-double (11 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists), the Bulls destroyed Boston, 100-89. Nate Robinson was a beast off the bench with five treys and 18 points, and after he drained a triple from somewhere outside of the arena in the fourth quarter, Stacey King said Nate has the “nerves of a cat burglar.” READ MORE