Warriors To Sweep Cavs To Secure NBA Championship

Durant was outstanding in game three

The Golden State Warriors are just one game away from clinching the NBA Championship for the third time in the past four seasons.

The Warriors absorbed a first-half onslaught from the Cleveland Cavaliers and gradually took control of the contest to secure an eight-point win at Quicken Loans Arena.

Kevin Durant put forward an outstanding performance to enhance his credentials to be named Finals MVP for the second year on the bounce.

He rose to the occasion as for once Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggled to find the hoop with their shooting from distance. Durant was able to cover for his team-mates, notching 43 points to take the game away from the Cavs in the second half.

Javale McGee continued to provide support after being elevated to the starting line-up, while Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston were active from the bench. The contributions from the bench along with Durant’s brilliance have taken the Warriors to within a game of lifting the crown once again.

The Cavaliers will need something special to fight back from their 3-0 deficit. In their triumph in 2016 they were able to rally from a two-game deficit. However, this effort even looks beyond LeBron James.

He had another fine performance as he scored 33 points to lead his side’s charge in the early stages. However, the support he received in the first half waned in the second as Kevin Love and JR Smith faltered under pressure from the visitors.

Tyronn Lue’s men will at least want to avoid losing the Finals on home soil, although it appears to be a futile effort.

Durant was outstanding in game three

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors needed Durant’s excellence on the court as Curry and Thompson had their worst performances of the season. The 29-year-old had to be flawless and he was just that as he was a constant presence at both ends of the court. Durant fired in 15 of his 23 attempts from the field, including six of his nine shots from the perimeter.

His accuracy from distance had not been on point in the Finals, but when his team needed him the most Durant was able to come to the fore. The voting for Finals MVP appeared to be in favour of Curry after two games of the series. However, Durant’s special display may have been enough to secure the award for the second time. Durant will be looking to ensure that his side do not have to play another match and end his season with a flourish.

Curry and Thompson had off nights, netting only 20 points between them. Curry put on a clinic in game two of the series with his shooting from the perimeter. His performance in Cleveland was far removed from his exploits on home court, making only one of his 10 attempts. The 30-year-old was three from 16 from the field, highlighting the need for Durant’s excellence. It would be stunning to see Curry have such another bad outing in game four therefore expect him to bounce back.

Thompson was in the same boat as his team-mate. His statistics were slightly better than Curry’s although still way below his usual standards. He had plenty of open looks from distance, but game three was a night for attacking the rim, which is not the forte of the duo preferring to do their damage from distance. The 28-year-old like Curry has too much quality to endure a slump, especially with the Championship within the Warriors’ grasp.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs are staring down the barrel of their second defeat in a row in the Finals. Not even LeBron’s heroics may be enough to save them now. He set the tone at the start of the contest with a huge dunk over Thompson after knocking his pass off the backboard. Smith and Love supported him in the first half and allowed the Cavaliers to take a lead into the interval.

However, neither player was able to sustain their rate of scoring throughout the contest as Golden State took command. Smith scored 10 points in the opening 24 minutes, but added only a further three in the second half. Love too also went quiet after a strong start to the game, although he notched 20 points on the night. Rodney Hood provided 15 points in the second half as he LeBron desperately tried to the Cavs in the game, but it was not enough to avoid Lue’s men slipping to a defeat.

Cleveland head into game four knowing that it could be LeBron’s last for the club. He has been linked with moves away from the Cavaliers, although it has not affected his performances on the court. Whether he has one last great effort in him to extend the series to spare the home fans seeing Golden State win the Finals at Quicken Loans Arena is another matter.

The 33-year-old put everything on the line in game with his 51-point display and even that could not secure the win. Curry and Thompson will not have many games as poor as their last one – therefore the Cavs have to expect a high-scoring affair.

LeBron alone cannot fight four All-Stars on his own and will need a helping hand from at least two of his team-mates. The support has been too sporadic from the Cavs with each of the starting line-up contributing in at least one match thus far, but it will take something special to keep the series alive.

Breakdown

The Cavaliers are fighting a losing battle. They’ve had opportunities in the series, but have lacked the quality in crucial moments to close out the win. Lue’s men should have won game one, while they failed to capitalise on poor performances from Curry and Thompson in game three.

Cleveland cannot expect the two All-Stars to misfire once again therefore it appears that the Finals will be decided in game four as the Warriors push for the sweep. Back Golden State to complete the whitewash and their third Championship in four years with the victory at odds of -180 with BetOnline, while take Steve Kerr’s men on the -10.5 spread at odds of +210   with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

Golden State Warriors To Beat Cleveland Cavaliers Game Three
Friday 8th June 2018 21:00 ET (Saturday 9th June 2018 02:00 BST)
Odds: -180

Take Golden State Warriors -10.5 Spread
Friday 8th June 2018 21:00 ET (Saturday 9th June 2018 02:00 BST)
Odds: +105