And it still wasn't enough.
Then, as they often do, the Warriors exploded in the third quarter, using a quick 9-3 spurt after the break to level the score and taking off from there. "It's nearly like playing the Patriots - you just can't have mistakes, they're not going to beat themselves", said James". We're on our home floor.
Three minutes into play, James would have, arguably, a No. 1 on the #SCTop10-worthy dunk. But James could well be playing his final game in a Cleveland uniform, and this team's character flaws are too much for him to overcome at this point. James would hit the first points of the second, followed by Rodney Hood with a basket of his own.
"We're still in the NBA Finals", said Cleveland's J.R. Smith.
Then, Kevin Durant spoke for LeBron.
"K.D. had one of his games that will go on his highlight reel and one that was incredible even by his standards".
"Andre helps us in every regard", Kerr said. "We were ultra-aggressive in that first half, myself included. I think that was mostly it".
The Cavaliers don't need monster games from their starting backcourt, but they shouldn't expect that Golden State's All-Star duo will have another rough night on Friday.
Cleveland did what it had been saying it would do for two days - come out better on home court - and the Cavs led for the entire first half, thanks in part to bad shooting from the Warriors.
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They were asking for trouble.
"I thought it would be in OKC", James said about a potential rivalry with Durant's team, per Fox Sports. That's what this team does.
"They hit big shots", Cleveland coach Ty Lue said of the Warriors as he sat in a press conference after the game.
"No", Rose said after The Ringer chief Bill Simmons asked whether Cleveland fans had seen the last of the franchise's most famous son.
Golden State will get their first chance to close out the series on Friday in Cleveland. If the Warriors finish this off - no team in National Basketball Association history has blown a 3-0 series lead - then all the hiccups of the regular season will be forgotten. If the Warriors complete their sweep of the Cavs, is that it for Bron in the wine and gold? Most of those teams can give James a strong pitch by revealing their plan to dethrone the Warriors.
James could be packing up and leaving his native northeast OH once again.
"So have the guts and composure to take the shot past year and it was big". According to anyone who can do math, ABC has won the night yet again with the NBA Finals.
A bounce here, a couple stops there, the Cavs could be leading in these finals and the conversation would be different.
Considering that fact, statements made by James on Thursday morning offered a pretty legitimate cause for concern regarding James' uncertain future in Cleveland.
If Cleveland was going to make this a series, that was the team that needed to show up on Wednesday night.
"You actually are trying to get me to say something."He's a victor. I don't look at him as a guy that would be OK with that. "That's who I am".