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Durant's 43 points — deep 3-pointer — sink Cavaliers

By JOE VARDON • Jun 7, 2018 at 1:57 AM

CLEVELAND — Kevin Durant ripped the Cavaliers' hearts from their chests again in Game 3 of the Finals.

Like last year, the Cavs won't be recovering from this.

Durant scored 43 points, including a dagger 3 with 49.8 seconds left, and the Warriors won 110-102 Wednesday to take a 3-0 lead in the Finals.

Teams to win the first three games in a seven-game NBA playoff series have always become champions. Thus, the Warriors are going to win their third title in four years — all against the Cavs — and maybe finish it off Friday in Cleveland.

"It's definitely a tough loss, and we had our chances," LeBron James said.

The Cavs led by as many as 13 in the game and by a point with 3:11 left.

James finished with 33 points, 10 boards and 11 assists for his 10th triple doubles in the Finals — the most all time. This was his 23rd playoff triple double overall and fourth this postseason, and he passed Michael Jordan for first all time with his 110th playoff game of 30 or more points.

Durant was ridiculous on a night when the Warriors were so pedestrian. He scored nine in the fourth and added 13 rebounds and seven assists on 15-of-23 shooting.

"I just tried to come through and be aggressive, do something," Durant said.

Stephen Curry followed a record-breaking Game 2 with a clunker. He shot 3-of-16 from the field and missed his first nine 3s, one game after setting a Finals record with 9 3s.

Curry finished with 11 points in the game, with seven in the fourth, thanks in part to a huge 3 with 2:38 to go to put the Warriors ahead by four. James responded with a 3 of his own with 1:57 left to cut the Warriors' lead to 101-100. Durant's bomb made it 106-100.

"It was a big shot," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "I mean, he was four or five feet behind the line, and he raised up and made a big shot for them. So, you know, kind of like he did last year.

"Holding Steph to 11 points and Klay (Thompson) to 10, you would think you would win that game."

In Game 3 last season, Durant drained a 3 with 45 seconds left to put Warriors up one and win that game, 118-113. Golden State won the 2017 Finals in five games.

Lue turned to Rodney Hood — statistically the worst player in the 2018 playoffs — for a spark, and Hood delivered. He scored 15 points off the bench with six boards on 7-of-10 shooting.

"I'm very happy for Rodney," Lue said. "Played a good game. He was aggressive."

Kevin Love added 20 points and 13 boards. JR Smith added 13 points but shot 5-of-14 from the field.

Stephen Curry followed a record-breaking Game 2 with a clunker. He shot 3-of-16 from the field and missed his first nine 3s, one game after setting a Finals record with 9 3s.

Curry finished with 11 points in the game, with seven in the fourth, thanks in part to a huge 3 with 2:38 to go to put the Warriors ahead by four. James responded with a 3 of his own with 1:57 left to cut the Warriors' lead to 101-100. Durant's bomb made it 106-100.

"It was a big shot," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "I mean, he was four or five feet behind the line, and he raised up and made a big shot for them. So, you know, kind of like he did last year.

"Holding Steph to 11 points and Klay (Thompson) to 10, you would think you would win that game."

In Game 3 last season, Durant drained a 3 with 45 seconds left to put Warriors up one and win that game, 118-113. Golden State won the 2017 Finals in five games.

Lue turned to Rodney Hood — statistically the worst player in the 2018 playoffs — for a spark, and Hood delivered. He scored 15 points off the bench with six boards on 7-of-10 shooting.

"I'm very happy for Rodney," Lue said. "Played a good game. He was aggressive."

Kevin Love added 20 points and 13 boards. JR Smith added 13 points but shot 5-of-14 from the field.

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