Durant enjoying joyride in first season with Warriors

Tricia Pearson
June 12, 2017

But that means little to Golden State's players, who with a victory in Game 4 on Friday night can exorcise those haunting demons from last June when the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals to the Cavaliers.

The Warriors entered the game mindful of what had happened against the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the finals last season.

Cleveland is shooting 29.8% on three-point shots compared to Golden State's 42.2%, a stat that has helped lead the Cavaliers into this 0-3 series hole.

No team in National Basketball Association history has ever been this close to post-season perfection before.

The Warriors won their first 15 playoff games, the longest postseason streak in North American sport history, but 48 minutes from a party they've been planning for a year has been put on hold. "(Golden State) has been the best team in our league the last three years.

He could only watch as Kevin Durant of the Warriors sank a three-pointer over the top of him, one final jolt from which the Cavaliers could not recover.

No NBA team had overcome a 3-1 deficit in the Finals until LeBron James and the Cavs did it a year ago, storming back and stunning defending champion Golden State.

Cleveland led 86-68 at half-time after the highest-scoring half in finals history, the Cavaliers setting a record for the most points in any quarter with 49 in the first and the most by one team in any half also.

"Just one of those games", Curry said. It would take an even more unlikely comeback for the Cavaliers to prevent the Warriors from winning the 2017 NBA Finals and Durant might take less than the max in the offseason to keep the core together.

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"We were in attack mode", James said.

No NBA team have ever found their way back after losing the first three games of a best-of-seven series but James was not ready to admit defeat.

Durant's 3-pointer with 45.3 seconds remaining was the go-ahead basket as the Warriors scored the game's final 11 points.

"We thought we were going to win", James said.

It's all come to this - what might be the final game of the Cleveland Cavaliers' 2016-17 season.

And, like J.R. Smith tweeted, but apparently didn't: Cavs in seven. Kyrie Irving was the game's leading scorer with 40 points and Kevin Love chipped in with 23 points for the Cavs. "It definitely wasn't one of those things where it was a goal, where it's like, 'Let's go out and go to the playoffs and let's go 16-0.' That's too much". "I just didn't give it enough".

Paul Pierce, the former Celtics great who is working as an analyst for ESPN during playoffs, ignited a social media firestorm when he suggested the Golden State star has overtaken Cleveland's LeBron James as the planet's No. 1 player. That was my mindset when I started playing the game. "I think I said it last night, it just looks like he understands this is his moment, this is his time".

"We obviously know how hard it is to win a championship, what all goes into it and how important each game is". Should they go on and clinch the championship, Green can look back at the time he talked to Durant after Game 7 and think of it as one of the best decisions he's made as a professional, which is now paying dividends for the team. "We just want a championship and I think we are very capable of finishing ideal". Both teams responded. But in the final minute, James found himself in an unusual position - helpless.

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