Time will tell if Brown's prediction holds true; tipoff of Game 3 is tonight at 6:00 PM PT at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
The Cavs opened up strong, working to get Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson involved.
The Cavaliers came home for the Finals, one defeat away from the 0-3 deficit that no team ever has overcome in any National Basketball Association playoff series. The effort to spread the ball around was concerted as James logged nine first-half assists. LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Kevin Love, Klay Thompson, to name a few, are all still competing with their same teams.
Here's a look at the players from the first Finals matchup between the Cavs and Warriors. Although it took until Game 5 for the Warriors to secure the series, that shot is seen by many was the one that won it. Durant, though, disagrees with the idea that it changed him.
Durant ripped away the Cavs' best shot to make this a competitive series Wednesday night.
Durant finished with 43 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and pretty much put to rest any question about the 2018 Finals MVP.
He also did it on defense. Aside from Rodney Hood, who came out firing after being buried on the bench the first two games, Cavs players not named James who thrived in the first half shrunk.
James did yeoman's work.
The feat gets even more impressive when you move further down the list and realize Manu Ginobili needed 218 games to hit 324 threes, and Reggie Miller, considered to be possibly the greatest shooter of all-time, accumulated 320 three-pointers in 144 games. I got us winning the series, that's my prediction...
Cleveland made an early push to turn Game 3 into a blowout, but Durant's spectacular shot-making wouldn't let that happen. It was a more complete and dominant performance, and a 19-point win that never felt that close was the result.
But it was Curry's circus layup with 2:58 remaining, followed by a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, that gave Golden State the lead back for good - and set the stage for Durant to hit a devastating deep 3 that all but ended Cleveland's season for the second year in a row. That is what occurred when the odds were stacked against the King once again when the Warriors were able to win another NBA Championship in 2017. He converted only three of his 16 attempts from the field - and one of 10 in 3-pointers - for 11 total points, and unlike Games 1 and 2, wasn't terribly effective attacking off the bounce.
Smith went 2-of-9 from the floor and scored only five points. Jordan did average more points per game but Lebron has the better all-around numbers because he has more of an impact at the defensive end by grabbing rebounds and blocking shots.
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