Game 3: Warriors at Cavs
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (2-1) 96, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (1-2) 91
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
1. What more can one say about LeBron James? He's averaging more than 40 points a game in this series. He's taking a lot of shots, but who's counting? He's taken his game to another level. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they aren't able to go with him. One thing in Golden State's favor coming into this series was it had several players who could guard James. Well, Andre Iguodala is the only one who has had any success. Harrison Barnes hasn't made a dent in James' game, and neither has Draymond Green. Green has more than his hands full with Tristan Thompson, who is averaging 14 rebounds a game in this series. James is going to be MVP of the NBA Finals for the third time in his illustrious career.
2. Let me get this out of the way now, the longer this series goes on, the more I dislike Green. I respect his game. He's a very good player. I just don't like the way he operates. He's a tough guy and set a mean screen on Iman Shumpert, who injured his left shoulder on the play. I'd bring Kendrick Perkins in just for a couple plays. I want to see Green get "tough" with Perk.
3. Here's the one thing that concerns me: Stephen Curry got it going in the fourth quarter with 17 of his 27 points. He finally looked like the player that won the MVP award. He said he saw something that allowed him to attack the pick-and-roll a little more efficiently. The Warriors exploded for 36 points in the fourth - twice as many as they scored in the third. Now, if suddenly the Warriors catch fire, this could be a whole new series.
4. Curry said they expect to come out strong in Game 4 and try to tie the series at 2-2. The Cavs have to sell out to win Thursday's game. Play like it's Game 7. They'd love to go up 3-1 before heading back to California. The Warriors are not going down easy. They are just too good a team.
5. Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova failed to come to the postgame interview area. The Cavs say he was being treated for severe cramps at the Cleveland Clinic. He got IV treatments. He played so well with a postseason career high 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. He had just two turnovers in 39 minutes.
6. Delly made Curry work extremely hard once again. The MVP also turned the ball over six times. That's 12 miscues now in his last two games. That's got to bother him as much as his sub-par shooting.
7. The Cavs might have really dodged a bullet with the shoulder injury to Shumpert. "Guys set screens and you usually go shoulder to shoulder a lot, and that time it hurt a little bit more than usual," Shump said. We're assuming he can play on Thursday. We don't know for sure, but this guy is tough as nails.
8. The Cavs got 17 points from their bench in Game 3 - 10 by JR Smith and seven by James Jones. They need to keep getting solid contributions from the bench. The Cavs are waiting for Smith to have one of his breakout games where he drops in about seven 3-pointers. It hasn't happened yet.
9. Their defensive intensity has been fantastic in their series. They held the Warriors to 40 percent shooting. They also limited Golden State to 37 points in the first half - their lowest-scoring half of the season.
10. Since Jan. 19, the Cavs are an NBA-best 27-2 at The Q, including 9-0 vs. the Western Conference. They need two more wins for the NBA title. I'm starting to feel it.
UP NEXT: Game 4, NBA Finals, at Cleveland, Quicken Loans Arena, June 11, 9 p.m.
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Harrison Barnes (6-8, 225)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Andrew Bogut (7-0, 260)
SG Iman Shumpert (6-5, 220) vs. Klay Thompson (6-7, 215)
Warriors - C Ognjen Kuzmic, G Brandon Rush
Danny Crawford, Marc Davis, Derrick Stafford