Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James revealed that he played the last three games of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors with a "self-inflicted" injured hand. Durant scored 43 points in that game, including a 33-foot 3-pointer in the final minute to all but clinch the win for the Warriors.
James was stellar in defeat, averaging 34 points, 8.5 rebounds and 10 assists in the series. Cleveland, on the other hand, suffered from a familiar malaise: James had a triple-double - 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds - but he didn't have almost enough help.
Golden State outscored Cleveland 25-13 in the third quarter, the period when the Warriors either turned around or blew open so many games during their run to the NBA Finals.
LeBron James played the last three games of the NBA Finals with a severe right hand injury. One of them was James, who sat slumped in his corner locker, bags of ice on his knees and a towel over his face.
The Warriors buried the Cavaliers in the third quarter, holding them to 13 points on 4-for-17 shooting. Among the notable pieces shipped out were Isaiah Thomas, who had never found a groove since arriving, while injured, from Boston, and Dwayne Wade, who was scoring just 11 points a game, half his career average, in Cleveland. Houston finished seven games ahead of the Warriors in the regular season, earning the right to be the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. Though James put in his typically stellar performance in the Finals, Warriors easily swept the Cavaliers. He has now scored at least 20 points in 28 straight playoff games, including all 21 this season.
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The television ratings through the first three games of this year's NBA Finals continue a positive trend for basketball locally. Durant went to the University of Texas, and you could call the school "butt", since in 2017, it came in at 9th in the BIG 12.
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Now, as James said Thursday, "everyone is trying to figure out" how to assemble a team to knock off a dynasty. You show up thinking that we're going to show up and win, right?
"Whether it's opponents, whether it's different coaches panning for us, whether it's the fans, the media that hate us, it feels good when you're the team that everybody's gunning for", said Durant. You just knew that like every possession we were playing San Antonio when I was in Miami, you just knew if you made a mistake, Manu, Tim, Tony, Pop will make you pay.
James described that Game 1 loss as "very emotional" for him. Even with being, arguably, the greatest player in National Basketball Association history, James can't defeat the mighty force of the Golden State Warriors alone.
"When you make mistakes they make you pay", he said, "because they're already more talented than you are but they also have the minds behind it, too, and they also have the championship DNA".
As he checked out for the final time with about 4 minutes remaining, Bron noticeably gave players pounds with only his left hand.
Durant made four of them in Game 3, and Curry and James have also done it in this series. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.