09 June, 2018
As a team, the Cavaliers shot just 43 percent from the field and nine of 31 from the three-point line which was good enough to keep them in the game due to their defense, but they just had no answer for Kevin Durant who scorched them for a game-high 43 points on 15 of 23 shooting.
Then the league's best team tightened the screws on Cleveland in the third quarter, outscoring the Cavs 25-13 and prompting Golden State fans to begin those drawn-out "War-eee-orrss" chants that provide a ideal musical accompaniment to their 3-point barrages.
By the start of the fourth, the only question was whether Curry would win his first NBA Finals MVP or if it would go to Durant for the second year in a row. The Warriors swept the Cavaliers, closing out the series in Cleveland with a 108-85 win.
James said accomplishing that feat in 2016 with the Cavaliers "made me even more hungry to continue to try and win championships".
Ironically, it is West who's highly-regarded as the architect of this Golden State Warriors juggernaut - the team responsible for two or maybe three of the Cavs forward's finals losses, depending on what happens in the 2018 NBA Finals.
The latest defeat for the Cavaliers is James' sixth in the NBA Finals - the third most of all time.
And they are having more than their share of fun along the way.
Months of weight will lifted off him once the Warriors, who haven't lost four straight games since 2013, are crowned again.
But James' jaw-dropping play this postseason was just part of the massive melodrama that surrounded the Cavs this year.
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LeBron didn't get a ton of help from his supporting cast in Game 4. "It never gets boring". A free agent, he might have played his last game in Cleveland. "So we'll have plenty of time over the summer to talk about what next year's going to look like and what it's going to take for us to get back to this stage next year".
"It's just about the journey, all season", Durant said.
Cavs guard JR Smith ran down the clock with seconds to go, under the apparent belief that Cleveland were ahead.
The selfless superstar with the deadly 3-point shot smiled, and Stephen Curry's teammates smiled with him. They were a flawless 16-of-16 from the stripe and handed out 25 assists on 39 made baskets. He has stated multiple times he will re-sign with the Warriors this summer.
Defending champion Golden State can capture a 3rd title in 4 seasons, carrying a 3-0 lead over the Cavaliers into Game 4 of their record 4th consecutive best-of-seven title matchup.
The Warriors had dominated the third quarter of games all season and Friday was no different.
"They're going to come out just gunslinging". James did not have a field goal in the period, going 0-for-2, as Cleveland saw its nine-point halftime deficit balloon to as many as 21.
If the Warriors finish this off - no team in National Basketball Association history has blown a 3-0 series lead - then all the hiccups of the regular season will be forgotten. He finished the night with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The Pacers forced James to play harder longer than he ever intended. The playoffs were the real season, and everyone knew it. "So I don't have an answer for you right now". "For us to be able to be here again, we can't get enough of this feeling".
Then, LeBron headed straight for the exit.