At 116-113 and with 12 seconds to go, James paused outside the 3-pointer line, took a shot and missed.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers walks off the court after being defeated by the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 7, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. Kevin Durant capped his 31-point performance by nailing a go-ahead 3-pointer with 45 seconds remaining. It was a stunning display of offensive pyrotechnics that dovetailed with the Cavaliers' late-game collapse, a disheartening result that nearly felt unfair, unjust, undeserved.
With the sweep now very much in play for the Warriors, Game 4 is set for Friday at 9 p.m. ET. James doesn't begrudge the Warriors, he even pointed out the National Basketball Association isn't the only league where dynasties have been built by owners throwing around money.
Combine that with last year's 73-win season, and a second title in three years - which could have easily been three consecutive championships - and foundation of the case has been made. Number 35 then walked up to Lebron James and drilled the game-winning three-pointer.
None won as dominantly as this team, which has four versatile All-Stars - including two former league MVPs - in their prime.
Some people may argue their greatness, but James won't.
Many of the Warriors players credited the win to their team's defense and ability to get stops when they were needed and having held the Cavs scoreless in the last 3:09 - they can certainly say so.
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"I think we're better from our experiences", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit, and it doesn't appear any team is equipped to hang with these Warriors, who may go down as one of the best ever. Instead, their offense sputtered, the Warriors responded, and now Cleveland faces a massive 3-0 hole. But protecting the lead meant leaving Irving on the floor for the entire second half and James for all but a few seconds of it, and on the other bench Steve Kerr kept reminding his deeper Warriors that the Cavaliers were going to get exhausted. "But that team, they knew what they were about. And now that you can look ahead to Friday, all our focus is on that", Curry said.
"I said it after we won the Eastern Conference finals that we're getting ready for a juggernaut", LeBron James said during Wednesday's postgame press conference. Three minutes that included the signature moment of Durant's brilliant career just seconds after LeBron deferred to Kyle Korver.
The heartache, as much as the addition of star forward Durant, has made the Warriors all the more stronger now, even in snatching defeat from victory's jaws past year. "We'll see", James said.
And maybe fatigue played a part in the Warriors' rally, though James didn't think so even after playing 46 minutes.
Neither will turn 30 until next year, while Thompson and Green are only 27. It's going to be one of those "go back to the drawing board" offseasons, because the Cavs can't win a title against the Warriors the way they're now constructed. They have a core of four All-NBA players in their prime and a fairly simple path to keeping them together.
"If I become an owner, I'm gonna try to sign everybody". "They have their youth, they have their health".