Destroying the Cavaliers. A 3-0 series lead wouldn't be a title-clincher, but it's equally as demoralizing.
On this segment of Bay Area Sports Insiders, Courtney Cronin is joined by FastBreak author Adam Lauridsen to break down how the Warriors came back from being down six with 3:09 left, Durant's 7-0 run in 63 seconds, why Kyrie Irving and LeBron James' performances weren't enough to earn Cleveland a win and the magnitude of what a 16-0 finish would mean.
A J.R. Smith three-pointer put the Cavs up 113-107 with just over three minutes to play - and suddenly it all fell apart.
Golden State leads the series, 2-0. Golden State has been punishing Cleveland in transition, and the way the Warriors have blown open the first two games by scoring in bunches hasn't just taken a physical toll. Thompson sank six three-pointers in Game 3 on his way to 30 points, and despite facing foul trouble almost all game, Green pitched in his well-rounded eight points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.
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. LeBron James is averaging 32.4 points and 8.8 rebounds while Kyrie Irving is averaging 25 points and 5.3 assists.
The Warriors are closing in on an unprecedented 16-0 playoff record, but they have cause to be wary after the Cavs became the first side to come from 3-1 down to steal last year's title from their grasp.
"If we win the championship, I'm like 99 percent sure we don't get him", Green told ESPN. Stephen Curry had 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. He had 21 points in the first 15 minutes.More news: Stocks wait on MSCI China call, rand steadies after swoon
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Golden State landed the next blows, but the Cavs kept coming back. They're different now, and potentially much better than a year ago. "And now that you can look ahead to Friday, all our focus is on that", Curry said.
"It's a dramatic situation to be in", James said of the mountain his team has to climb if they want to win a second-straight National Basketball Association title, "but it is what it is".
The player who's arguably Golden State's most influential is on his way to winning Defensive Player of the Year after being named runner-up the last two seasons. And Kyrie Irving, despite struggles with consistency, is still giving 21.5 points per game through two games.
They proceeded to lose four of the last five Finals games, and the series, collapsing as much under the weight of their own shortcomings as the relentlessness and increasing swagger of the Cavaliers.
"You also understand the energy level that it takes in order to make that type of shot and what it demands out of your body", Irving said. "It's probably the most, most firepower I've played in my career". "He's been an awesome player in this league for a long time, and I think he senses this is his moment, his team".
As the Warriors have shown all postseason on their way to a record of 15-0 so far, the opposition needs to play 48 straight minutes of flawless basketball.
If not for their meltdown previous year, the Warriors, whose record-setting 73-win season got lost in the Finals aftermath, would be looking for a third straight crown.