The first two games of the NBA Finals ended in OT thrillers, it solidified that this series would be one for the ages. It also raised questions like whether LeBron could keep putting up staggering numbers, will The Warriors start slow for another game, will Steph Curry’s mojo return, is the Matthew Dellavedova the Curry stopper and much much more. With so many headlines and subplots, Game 3 was sure to be another great game in an exciting Finals.
The game started with intensity from Cleveland, which was expected as the home team. From the fan excitement of hosting an NBA Finals game since 2007, to the starting five attacking the basket early and often. That included LeBron, who lead the charge with the opening points.
After an open three pointer from Steph Curry, he lost aggression on the attack and instead began hurting the Cavs with his playmaking. As the first half came to a close, it seemed the effects of Game 2 had lingered for theWarriors and the Cavaliers maintained all the momentum.
Cleveland had doubled the lead it had at halftime in the third quarter, many accepted that Game 3 would be the typical NBA Finals blowouts seen in previous years (most notably last year’s finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs).
Steve Kerr was searching for answers on his bench that could jumpstart that high scoring offense, it was an often forgotten player that would turn things around. David Lee. The Warriors began to make it the game the fans wanted as Lee’s threat from an offensive standpoint opened the floor for Golden State’s shooters. Add that with more questionable foul calls with the refs, and the tide began to change a bit.
At the start of the fourth quarter, LeBron took his customary early fourth quarter rest. It was then that the Warriors struck, going on a run that would erase a 20 point lead in the blink of an eye. Seeing as they play the game by three versus two, they caught up quickly and erased the thought of a blowout from everyone that was tuned in.
When it mattered most, LeBron James showed why he is King. With four clutch free throws, he put the icing on the cake with the 97-91 victory. He finished with another incredible stat line: 40 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Steph Curry started slow again but showed signs that he’s getting his groove back as he finished with 27 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. That late game surge may be a sign that his slump is over and the Warriors might be getting their MVP back. With Game 4 on the horizon, we will see if that Warriors surge was a turning point or if Cleveland is ready to take full control of the series.