LeBron, Cavs survive Warriors comeback, win Game 3
Published 10:36 am Wednesday, June 10, 2015
CLEVELAND — LeBron James is doing more than ever. With the Cavaliers missing two All-Stars, he has no choice.
“I’m so outside the box right now,” he said.
And two wins from a championship — one like no other.
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Pushed by a crowd howling to see Cleveland’s 51-year title drought end, James scored 40 points, his new sidekick Matthew Dellavedova added 20 and the Cavaliers survived Golden State’s furious fourth-quarter comeback led by Stephen Curry for a 96-91 win over the Warriors on Tuesday night to take a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
James added 12 rebounds and eight assists in 46 minutes, his third stellar performance in his fifth straight finals. The Cavs, who won Game 2 at Golden State for their first ever finals win, got their first at Quicken Loans Arena, which shook from start to finish. They’ll have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series in Game 4 on Thursday night.
Through three games, James has played 142 of 154 possible minutes, scored 123 points and taken 107 shots. With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love out with injuries, it’s all on James to deliver. So far, he has.
“I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to help our team win,” he said. “It’s the finals, and it’s whatever it takes. This is a totally different challenge.”
Cleveland nearly threw Game 3 away. The Cavs, who led 92-83 with 51 seconds left, had to withstand a scoring flurry by Curry.
The league’s MVP finally found his shooting touch in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 points as the Warriors, who trailed by 20 in the third, refused to go away. Golden State got a huge lift from reserve David Lee, but they rode Curry, who made five 3-pointers — his last with 18.9 seconds to pull the Warriors within 94-91.