Durant had ice in his veins late in Game Three of the NBA Finals as he sank a three-pointer over Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James to put Golden State ahead with 45 seconds to play, a lead they would never relinquish.
Cleveland's J.R. Smith sank a 3-pointer to give the Cavaliers a 113-107 lead, but the Warriors scored 11 points in the final 2:20 for the fightback triumph.
With the win Golden State moved to 15-0 in the playoffs by finishing the game with an 11-0 run over Cavaliers. Green wasn't the reason the Warriors lost in the 2016 NBA Finals, but his Game 5 suspension certainly paved the way for the Cavaliers to mount an unprecedented comeback.
Golden State's flawless post-season is over.
Showing off his ability to spin in shots high off the backboard, Irving scored 16 in the third quarter and the Cavs held the Warriors to 22 points in their lowest scoring output in any quarter in this postseason.
"We don't want to go back to the Bay", Klay Thompson said. If the Cavs trade away their size to become a better small ball team, then the Celtics automatically have a better chance at beating them. The 7-footer finished 10 of 18 from the field with 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
Irving didn't let that happen in Game 3. "I've been working on that shot my whole life".
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Durant had been superb in the first two games of this series and was the main culprit in handing Cleveland a bitter loss. Irving had his best quarter of the series scoring 16 points in the third and relentlessly attacking the rim, while LeBron played more of a facilitator role.
"I gave everything that I had, so at times throughout the game I was exhausted, but that's just because I was just playing as hard as I could", James said.
"Even when you're playing well, you got to play A-plus-plus, because they're going to make runs and they're going to make shots and they got guys that's going to make plays".
If not for Cleveland's Kyle Korver missing a three-pointer in the final minute of game three, the series would be 2-2.
The greatest-ever narrative debates that dominant National Basketball Association discussions, such as LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan or the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls against the Showtime Lakers, would have to include this year's Warriors team when mentioning historically dominant squads.
"I mean, who am I to say if it's fair or not?"
"My mindset is to try to get every game. I'm human, as well as my teammates, and to lay it all on the line like that, you want to come out on the winning side". "So we made enough plays tonight to still win the ballgame, but they made a couple more". It's a miss-or-make league. "It's probably the most, most firepower I've played in my career", said James.