James (39 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists) was indignant about suggestions that the Cavs couldn't play at Golden State's pace and survive.
The Golden State Warriors scored the final 11 points to erase a six-point deficit and stretch their lead to 3-0 in the series and seemingly crush all hope for the Cavs.
With their 15th straight win, the Warriors now have the longest postseason streak for any team in the four major professional sports. (1-1 in first year) Last year down 0-2, down 3-1.
James, who is averaging a triple-double in the Finals against the Golden State Warriors, shut down all the storylines about fatigue with a smile on Wednesday. "They're definitely a different team than they were past year".
"I don't think about years from now".
Somehow, the Cavaliers have to change all that.
Seriously, how do you stop a team whose third-best offensive player, Klay Thompson, is one of the greatest long-range shooters the game has ever seen? Did we want him to not believe that his team could do it?
The Warriors committed 20 turnovers in Game 2 but simply shook that off with an NBA Finals-record 18 3-pointers in a 132-113 romp. And until Wednesday, at no point during this postseason run have Irving and James been clicking at the same they were during last year's Finals. Golden State has scored 126 per game on almost 52 percent shooting over the last five games. Maybe lowering the salary cap would help to limit how many all-stars a team can pay at one time, but the players can always accept less money to play with each other if they really want to.
"There's no tomorrow, so we just have to play", said James' coach, Tyronn Lue. James dropped to the floor and a hush fell over Cleveland's crowd as the three-time champ laid in the foul lane like a boxer sprawled on the canvas after taking an upper cut. I wasn't sure after awhile, they just were going nuts.
The Cavaliers don't have that luxury. We play our game.
"It's The Finals", Irving said after the game. "I looked at it yesterday and the force they brought was remarkable and we didn't stand up to it. We should have been more aggressive getting to the paint".
"He took over", said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. Golden State has been punishing Cleveland in transition, and the way the Warriors have blown open the first two games by scoring in bunches hasn't just taken a physical toll.
Durant's team mates were singing his praises after the game and said there was no doubt in their minds whose hands the ball should be in with the game's result hanging in the balance.
Less than a year after the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history, the Cleveland Cavaliers have dug an even deeper hole.
They embraced the chase past year but said Tuesday that they're not thinking at all about 16-0. "They won a championship". "So to give ourselves a chance at even coming close to thinking about that". If those guys can't get it going, then the Cavaliers might be doomed before the game starters.
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