'Pleading From Family' Is Only Thing That Could Keep LeBron on Cavs

Game 4 will take place on Friday at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Shaking off one of his worst career playoff performances, Golden State star Steph Curry scored 37 points including seven 3-pointers Friday night to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 108-85 victory over Cleveland and back-to-back National Basketball Association titles. Durant made four of them in Game 3, and Curry and James have also done it in this series.

The last four NBA Finals have been between the Warriors and Cavs, with Golden State winning three of them. He struggled shooting from such distances in the remaining three games, going a collective 5 of 19. He scored 51 points, his career playoff high, while shooting almost 60 percent to go with eight rebounds and eight assists in Game 1.

For the Warriors, Curry and Thompson had only a combined 21 points on a combined 7-of-27 shooting and a 3-of-15 mark from three-point range. NBA Finals MVP was Curry's honor to lose. If Golden State lets Cleveland hang around, however, the Cavaliers could become motivated to make a game of it.

One thing was the same in the early-going: James was a monster, with six points and five assists in the first quarter, punctuated by the off-the-backboard dunk that is normally only attempted in an All-Star Game or a dunk contest.

"The margin of error is very low", James said following Cleveland's 110-102 loss.

The Warriors had expected what it saw from Cavs talisman LeBron James (33 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds) and Kevin Love (20 points 13 rebounds). Afterwards, he dismissed comparisons to his 2017 shot and focused on Golden State still needing a fourth victory.

For his overall playoff performance, Durant was named the MVP of the NBA Finals for a second straight season. KD, who wasn't the headline in either Game 1 (LeBron) or Game 2 (Curry), made sure to bring out the "assassin" in him all night and kill off Cleveland's hopes. The Cavaliers won the rematch the next year but Golden State has handled them easily to finish the last two seasons.

Kevin Durant went back-to-back, twice. One onlooker, however, wasn't as kind, shouting "UT's butt" at the superstar forward - an apparent reference to Durant's alma mater, the University of Texas - before adding, "LeBron!" It is a hell of a luxury to have Durant on a team that had already won a title one year and 73 games the next.

"The one he made tonight was 4 or 5 feet behind the one he made a year ago", Cavaliers forward LeBron James said. "When you're able to force a miscue, you have to capitalize".

Vanessa Coleman