CLEVELAND — Kevin Durant drained a big 3-pointer with 45.3 seconds left and scored 31 points as the Golden State Warriors moved within one win of postseason perfection and payback by rallying to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-113 on Wednesday night to take a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals.
The Warriors trailed by six with three minutes left before Durant, who signed with Golden State last summer to win a championship, brought them back, scoring 14 in the fourth.
With their 15th straight win, the Warriors have the longest postseason streak for any team in the four major professional sports.
And with a win in Game 4 on Friday night, Golden State can exorcise those haunting demons from last year when the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals to the Cavaliers. Not team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit.
Klay Thompson added 30 points and Stephen Curry 26 for this California Dream Team now one win from its second title in three years.
LeBron James shook off a knee-buckling blow to the chin and every Golden State shot while scoring 39 and Kyrie Irving added 38 for the Cavs, who took a 113-107 lead with 3:09 left on J.R. Smith’s 3-pointer.
Curry hit a layup and after both James and Irving missed for the Cavs, Durant dropped his 3 — a shot that could be the one most remembered in this magnificent run by the Warriors.
“All I was looking at was the bottom of the net,” Durant said. “I’ve been working on that shot my whole life. To see that go in, that was liberating, man. We’ve got one more to go.”
After the Warriors went up, Irving missed a 3 from his favorite spot on the right side and the Warriors closed it out with four free throws in the final 12.9 seconds before celebrating briefly on the floor and then charging down the hallway to their locker room.
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