Kevin Durant Daggers King James In Game 3 of NBA Finals

For a brief moment it appeared as if Cleveland was going to do win Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals and force the lopsided series into respectability. Then all of a sudden, the definition of killer was clarified for the myriad sports talking heads who continue to misappropriate the label in Kobe Bryant’s absence. 

Kevin Durant jets down the court, pulls up from well behind three-point territory and drains a rainbow trey in King James royal face to put Golden State up 114-113. He followed that up with two free throws for his 30th and 31st points of the game as part of a game-winning 11-0 Warriors run to steal Game 3 from Cleveland, 118-113, in front of a shocked Quicken Loans Arena crowd on Wednesday night.

 All I was looking at was the bottom of the net.., Durant said. I been working on that shot my whole life and for that to go in it was liberating..

 Last years Finals had James loyalists thinking he could work miracles. Believing he could walk on water while doing the Matrix to avoid  hollow tips aimed at his lip. This NBA Finals have proved that hes very mortal and Golden State is cutting into his legacy like a knife.   

 When you talk about daggers, the one by Durant was as vicious as any that we’ve seen in these playoffs, where Golden State has run roughshod over the competition with a 15-0 record. 

Kevin Durant & Stephen Curry Game 3 Postgame News Conference

We were so close to having an interesting series, but the Warriors proved to be too much. The Warriors fought back in the fourth quarter and finished off a 118-113 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night to take a 3-0 lead in the series.

Cleveland was in control of the game, the tempo and the referees and led by seven points before Golden States relentless and incomparable offense went on that scorching double-digit blitz in the final 3:10 seconds of the game. Golden State also played some title-twisting defense on LeBron and Kyrie Irving late in the game when the shots mattered the most, rendering the two All-stars 77 combined points irrelevant.

There would be no series-changing Game 3 win. If the Cavs had managed to pull it out, wed be talking about how LeBron and Kyrie– Clevelands Batman and Robin — may have one more playoff miracle left in them. No matter what LeBron and Kyrie did, Durant stayed aggressive and made no bones about the fact that he was leading the show. Steve Kerr called Golden State  his team,  when referring to Durant in the post game presser.  Inevitably the conversation about Durant now being the best player will surface. 

NBA Finals Game 3 Analysis: “Kevin Durant is officially the best player in the world”

We were so close to having an interesting series, but the Warriors proved to be too much. The Warriors fought back in the fourth quarter and finished off a 118-113 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night to take a 3-0 lead in the series.

 Some might feel thats disrespectful to the two-time defending MVP Steph Curry, but Durants demeanor, the way he has taken it upon himself to bring it to LeBron and his 34 ppg average supports Kerrs statement. While LeBrons aggressive offensive posture typically waned towards the end of the game when Cleveland needed his penetration skills more than ever, KD dropped 14 of his points in the crucial fourth.  

Curry played well, as he has done throughout these Finals, and the biggest boost Golden State received was from Klay Thompson, who hopped off of the milk carton that was inhibiting his game, scored 30 points and drained 6-of-10 trey bombs. Cleveland’s inability to hit the three (12-44) combined with Klays resurgence, exposed another glaring difference between the two squads; long-range bombing and offensive depth. 

We cant win this thing unless we do it together, Durant insisted after the game. Klay was huge and we’re going to need that in Game 4 to close it out.

Andre Iguodala, Golden State’s 2015 Finals MVP,  made his biggest contribution of the series so far by stripping the ball from James hand as the newly-anointed 2017 Michael Jordan attempted to take a game-tying shot. Down 3-0, its going to take an even bigger miracle than last year from Cleveland to pull the series out. A team has never recovered from a 3-0 deficit to comeback and win the NBA Finals. 

So dont expect Cleveland to do it. Cleveland may snatch a Game 4 win on Friday to make it respectable, but this was the game that they had to have to make that title dream feasible. A dejected King James walked off the floor, refusing to extend his hand or make eye contact with any of the fans waiting for him to exit through the tunnel. 

His body language said it all. This is one of the toughest losses that he has ever experienced as a player because the Cavs didnt play bad. 

In fact, they win that game against any other team in the NBA. Just not Kevin Durants 2017 Golden State Warriors. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.