As game four of the 2018 NBA Finals played along.
The book The Little Engine That Could cross my mind.
It is an illustrated children’s book that became widely known in the United States after publication in 1930 by Platt & Munk. The story is used to teach children the value of optimism and hard work.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are The Little Engine That Could. Yes, there is significance in value of optimism and hard work. But, there is someone who is just better.
The Cavaliers were up 13 points after a Kevin Love 3 pointer in the first half.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined 7 of 27 in field goals and 3 of 15 from three-point range. In game two, Curry set an NBA Finals record with 9 three-point field goals made.
Cavaliers had the home court.
Besides, Draymond Green and Curry picked up three fouls in the first half.
The effort was there but not enough, because Kevin Durant was the best player on the court. Durant is the engine for the Golden State Warriors. A better engine than the Cavaliers.
Durant scored a career playoff-high 43 points, burring a long 3-pointer in the final minute to cap his marvelous performance, and the Warriors beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-102 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night to move within a victory of a sweep, their second straight title and third championship in four years.
“Shot clock was winding down; I was pretty far out. I just wanted to get a pretty good look,” Durant said. “I didn’t want to run in there and shoot a bad shot, fall on the ground; they had numbers going the other way. I decided to pull up from there; it felt good leaving my hands.”
Durant scored 24 points, 7-10 from the field to go along with eight rebounds and two assists in the first half. Warriors only faced a six-point deficit. It was just a matter of time for Cavaliers engine to give out.
Durant was the only Warrior who scored more than eleven points in the game. He has now scored 25 or more in all 13 Finals games he has played. The five with Oklahoma City, five with the Warriors last year and the three this Finals.
Along with his career playoff high on 15 of 23 shooting, Durant was 6 of 9 from 3-point and 13 rebounds. This was the best game I have seen Durant play moreover the stage he is on makes it’s even more noteworthy.
“I am not done playing basketball yet, so I don’t look at that these being defining moments,” Durant said.
It is over.
Post game, the defending champs could be heard loudly celebrating inside their locker room, conceivably a warm-up for a bigger party to come.
The Cavaliers are whom I predicted going into the series would win one game, they have not recovered from game one. Teams that have fallen behind 3-0 in the playoffs are 0-131. That will not change even with the best player on the planet playing for the Cavaliers.
There have been eight sweeps in NBA Finals history, the previous one the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Cavaliers in 2006-2007.
Cleveland came back from a 3-1 deficit to stun the Warriors in the 2016 finals, but that was when Durant was in Oklahoma City, and James had a different supporting cast. Guest starring Kyrie Irving.
“Tonight will be tough,” said LeBron James, who scored 33 points and rolled his right ankle in the first half. “Tomorrow I’ll replay some plays and some moments and things of that nature. When I wake up Friday morning, I’ll be locked in on the game plan of what needs to be done to help our team win. That’s just who I am.”
The Cavaliers have been exposed and flat out terrible on defense. There has been so many baseline wide-open backdoor cuts for players on the Warriors offense; the Cavaliers players look puzzled when the plays happen.
James will headline game four. Will it be his last game in a Cavaliers uniform? Set your DVRs even for the press conference.