June 8, 2016, 10:17 pm
Wednesday night brought us Game 3 of the NBA finals. Word came out early in the day that Cavs power forward Kevin Love would sit this one out with a concussion. With their backs against the wall could the Cavs channel some home court energy to get back into this series, or would the Warriors continue their double digit victories like Games 1 and 2 and take a stranglehold on the series? Let’s take a look a Thursday’s daily dish.
CAVS 120, WARRIORS 90
The Cavs came out hungry in this one going up 9-0 in the first minutes of Game 3. They held an eight point lead at the half and then exploded in the third quarter where they extended their lead to 20.
We knew LeBron James would bring it in Game 3 and bring it he did. James scored a game-high 32 points on 14-of-26 shooting. He added 11 rebounds, six assists, one steal and two blocks. James was all over the court in his 40 minutes of action and was dominant from start to finish.
Kyrie Irving stepped up for the Cavs by scoring 30 points on 12-of-25 shooting. Irving came out hot in Game 3 and was able to hit some long distance jump shots. In one sequence he actually dribbled MVP Stephen Curry out of his socks. Irving added four rebounds, eight assists and one steal in 37 minutes of action. If Irving continues to play at this high level we will be in for a long series.
J.R. Smith added some necessary secondary scoring by contributing 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting. He added five treys, four rebounds and three steals to close out his night. Smith did not play well during the first two games of this series so it was nice to see him bounce back with a strong performance in Game 3.
Tristan Thompson chipped in a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Seven of those rebounds came on the offensive end and his defensive energy was highlighted by a couple of forced turnovers on Stephen Curry.
For the Warriors, Harrison Barnes was the lone bright spot in an otherwise bleak effort. Barnes scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting. He added eight rebounds and three assists and scored some key buckets in the second quarter which kept the Warriors in the game at that point.
The Warriors came out completely flat in this one and while they did make a run in the second quarter the outcome was never really in question.
The Splash brothers were uncharacteristically quiet shooting a combined 10-of-26 from the field. Stephen Curry scored a team-high 19 points but was limited to only two points at the half. At one point he had double the amount of turnovers (4) than points (2). Curry added three assists and two steals to round out his night.
Klay Thompson only scored 10 points while connecting on 1-of-7 from the land beyond. Thompson was a team-high -27 on the court this evening and only added two rebounds, one assist and one steal to his line.
Draymond Green played a team-high 36 minutes in Game 3 but only scored six points on 2-of-8 shooting. He did add seven rebounds and seven assists but admitted after the game that the Warriors had been bullied and he took full responsibility for that happening.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a series. After losing Game 2 by 33 points, the Cavs bounced back with a 30 point victory of their own. The Cavs remained undefeated on home court during these 2016 playoffs and it will be interesting to see if the Warriors are able to bounce back in Game 4 and hand the Cavs their first loss at home. Friday night should be one for the ages.