Golden State one win away from record
Golden State Warriors took a 3-0 lead over defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers with a 118-113 victory in the best-of-seven NBA Finals. Kevin Durant scored 31 points for the Warriors, who have the opportunity on Friday to become the first team to go unbeaten en route to a title.
Cleveland led by six points with three minutes to play but Durant led an impressive 11-0 run to secure the win. No team has come from 3-0 down to win an NBA play-off series in 126 attempts.
Only eight teams have swept their opponents 4-0 in the NBA Finals – the last was San Antonio Spurs against Cleveland in the 2006-07 season. Last season, Golden State eclipsed Michael Jordan’s 1996 Chicago Bulls to set a new NBA record with 73 wins in a regular season.
This term they have become the first team from the United States’ four major professional sports leagues – the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL – to win 15 successive post-season games. Last year the Cavaliers became the first team to win a title after trailing the Finals 3-1 when they beat the Warriors 93-89 in the deciding game.
But Cleveland’s LeBron James admitted his side would have to play a perfect game on Friday to avoid being on the wrong side of a new landmark. “Even when you’re playing well, you got to play like A plus plus, because they’re going to make runs and they’re going to make shots and they have guys that are going to make plays,” he said.
“We made enough plays tonight to win the ball game, but they made a couple more.” Durant’s pull-up three-pointer over LeBron James with 45 seconds remaining gave the Warriors their first lead since late in the third quarter and silenced what had been a raucous crowd.
James, who collapsed to the floor after running head-first into the shoulder of team-mate Tristan Thompson in the first quarter, led the way for Cleveland with 39 points, while the impressive Kyrie Irving added 38. (BBC Sport)