Why home court could give LeBron, Cavaliers the advantage they need

George Hill

George Hill

Right now, the gauntlet belongs to Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

The Cavs opened up strong, working to get Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson involved.

After some contentious calls in the first two games, the official Twitter account of the National Basketball Association referees tweeted during game three to confirm James' pass to himself off the backboard was legal.

And when James did get his first bucket.

Only Durant kept the game from being a first-half blowout.

But just imagine: LeBron gets in Durant's ear, tells him he's not appreciated by Golden State fans who view him as a mercenary that wasn't around for their whole dynasty run, and convinces him that the only way for him to silence the haters is to go out and beat them.

With Warriors guard Stephen Curry suffering a rare off-night, putting up a paltry 3-of-16 shooting, it looked like the Cavs might have a chance to breathe some life back into the series and they led by six at the half.

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The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-102 on Wednesday night to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals.

And Durant happened all night.

He also did it on defense. He called for a screen from Andre Iguodala to get JR Smith to switch on him, but as soon as Iguodala came with the pick, Durant raised up with four seconds on the shot clock and drilled a deep 33-foot dagger 3-pointer over the outstretched hands of Smith. As Lebron James plays like an unstoppable force in the 2018 NBA Playoffs, internet memes are comparing James to "Thanos" from the Avengers Infinity War movie. Love had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.

James did yeoman's work. At home, he set up his teammates slightly more but posted similar stats of 27.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 9.7 assists per game. However, he turned the ball over five times in each game. Or it could be LeBron James was hoping to change his team's luck heading in Game 3.

The Cavaliers, sparked by reserve Rodney Hood, closed to 83-81 entering the 4th quarter and battled the Warriors into the final seconds. But in the end, the Warriors were the Warriors.

James finished with 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but he seemed exhausted by the end of the game, had little second half help and the Cavs became the first team in NBA history to go down 3-0 in back-to-back NBA Finals. This is the third time Durant and James have faced off in the Finals, each earning 4-1 series wins over the other.

Thompson was't much better, posting 10 points, four rebounds and two assists.

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