As the ball hung in the air, his plan to win a championship, Golden State's grip on the series, Cleveland's last-gasp attempt to defend its title, all of it was on the line.
Not much can damage the iron man that is LeBron James, but a blindside hit from a teammate in Game 3 certainly shook up the Cleveland Cavaliers star.
LeBron James knew what might happen when Kevin Durant merged with the Warriors, a 73-win team out for revenge.
Kevin Love was outstanding through the first two games of the series - snagging 21 boards in Game 1 and notching 27 points in Game 2.More news: Michigan airport evacuated after police officer injured
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But that means little to Golden State's players, who with a win 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.
J.R. Smith had his best game of the 2017 postseason on Wednesday - finishing with 16 points, going 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. Irving drove the length of the floor and lobbed one high off the glass for a layup at the buzzer to get the Cavs to within six.
And Durant was coming off a Game 1 in which he totaled 38 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 113-91 Warriors victory. It takes a flawless game with contributions across the board to beat a loaded squad like the Warriors. Stephen Curry had 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
Cleveland had collapsed in the third quarter of the first two games, letting the Warriors run away and hide. He was barely examined by team doctors, telling them he was fine. Durant then came down and made his go-ahead 3.
"All I was looking at was the bottom of the net", Durant said. I don't contribute as losing this game because we got exhausted. "That's a year ago and I don't even know the feeling anymore, so just mentally, I'm strengthening my mind and getting my mind ready and focused on what tomorrow's going to bring, and so, I look forward to it".