Last night’s heroics would seem to support the notion that the machinations to which the Golden State Warriors went in order to add Kevin Durant to their lineup were entirely justified.
With the Warriors trailing by six points with three minutes left in the game, Durant demonstrated that he was worth every penny when he grabbed a rebound off a missed Cleveland shot, dribbled the length of the floor and pulled up at the three-point line to drain a basket over a flat-footed LeBron James that ultimately secured the victory for Golden State and left them with a magic number of one to win the 2016 – 2017 NBA Championship and accomplish the unprecedented feat of winning all 16 playoff games.
Durant’s bomb came in the final 45 seconds of the game and the three points he collected gave him a total of 31 for the game, which was remarkable for the fact that he did not score in the third quarter.
The Warriors need only win one more game in Cleveland to exorcise the demons from last year, when they blew a 3 – 1 series lead to the Cavaliers.
It would take an even more heroic effort for the Cavaliers to come back and it would be without precedent, as no NBA team has ever come back from a 3 – 0 deficit.
In a post-game interview, Durant was nonchalant about his contribution to the win, saying, “All I was looking for was the bottom of the net. I’ve been working on that shot my whole life. To see it go in, that was liberating, man. We’ve got one more to go.”
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had good outings, as well. Curry had 26 points and was perfect from the free-throw line. Thompson broke out of his scoring slump, scoring 30 points.
Ironman LeBron James had 39 for the Cavaliers in a game where he played all but two minutes and 23 seconds, but despite his team enjoying a substantial advantage in turnovers; it was not adequate to secure the win.