Just when it seemed as if the Cavaliers might win their first game of the 2018 NBA Finals, Durant hit a 3-point dagger from the wing for the second year in a row, prompting Warriors teammate Draymond Green to roar and silencing a deafening crowd at Quicken Loans Arena.
Game 3, like much of the series thus far, revealed why today's National Basketball Association game is predicated on teams who can compile the most superstars.
The Cleveland Cavaliers didn't enter Friday with much hope, trailing the Golden State Warriors 3-0 in the NBA Finals. But from there on, Durant, Curry, Thompson, Green and the rest of this California crew showed why they're the game's gold standard.
Durant scored 43 points helping Golden State secure a 3 - 0 series lead over Cleveland. He finished with 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. It was the first sweep in the NBA Finals since 2007, when the Cavs lost to the Spurs.
Curry started out strong, scoring 20 points in the first half and immediately making up for his 11-point output the entirety of the previous game.
One thing was the same in the early-going: James was a monster, with six points and five assists in the first quarter, punctuated by the off-the-backboard dunk that is normally only attempted in an All-Star Game or a dunk contest.
It was the Warriors third NBA title in four straight NBA Finals - all against Cleveland.
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"In order to win you've got to have talent, but you've got to be very cerebral too", James said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
For Cleveland, the loss sends the team into an offseason of great uncertainty as James, the best player of his generation, could sign elsewhere as a free agent after July 1.
That was his last finals with the Cavaliers before he left for the Miami Heat, and there's rampant speculation he could leave Cleveland again this offseason. Durant can have an average night and still leave with a win.
Golden State's entire run up to now has been defined by the vast margin for error afforded to them.
Kevin Durant insists it was not deja vu, but it sure looked like it.
And once again, Kevin Durant-the 2017 Finals MVP-had the ball in his hands, the momentum running down the court, and the swagger to pull up from nearly the same spot behind the three-point line from where he hit a memorable shot past year. The Warriors aren't going to beat themselves, but the competition amongst each other will settle the only remaining unanswered question this season.
The Warriors have now reached four straight Finals and won three of them - a feat matched by only Magic Johnson's Lakers (1985-88 with the Celtics winning in 1986) and Bill Russell's Celtics (1957-66 with the St. Louis Hawks winning in 1958). In three games against Golden State, Cleveland is 28-for-95 from three-point range - a 29.5 percent clip.