Durant leads Warriors to 110-102 win vs Cavs

Kevin Durant scored a playoff career-high 43 points, including a long clinching 3-pointer, Stephen Curry ended a nightmarish night with five straight to give Golden State the lead for good, and the Warriors took a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals with a 110-102 victory over Cleveland.

“The shot clock was running down, I was pretty far out, I just wanted to get a look,” Durant said of his long 3-pointer. “I didn’t want to run there and shoot a bad shot, fall on the ground and they got numbers going the other way so I decided to pull up.”

Curry shot just 3 for 16 but he made a layup with the Warriors down one and followed with his only 3-pointer of the game for a four-point lead with a little more than 2 ½ minutes remaining.

The Warriors have a 3-0 lead for the second straight year. They finished the Cavaliers off in five games in 2017.

LeBron James had 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but his Cavaliers will have to become the first team to climb out of a 3-0 hole in the NBA Finals.

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11:15 p.m.

LeBron James is carrying the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, as usual. Rodney Hood is helping, which is unexpected.

Hood continues to provide James with solid support as Golden State leads Game 3 94-93 midway through the fourth quarter.

Out of the rotation of late, Hood has three baskets in the final period and 15 points off the bench. James leads the Cavaliers with 26 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

Kevin Durant has 38 points for the Warriors, who are trying to win with next to nothing from Stephen Curry. He has four points on 1-for-14 shooting

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11 p.m.

Kevin Durant has Golden State a quarter away from a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals.

The Warriors have an 83-81 edge heading into the final period, surging ahead with one of their patented third-quarter runs even while Stephen Curry continues to struggle.

But Durant has been brilliant, with 34 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. That has more than compensated for Curry’s 1-for-11 outing, including 0 for 7 from 3-point range.

LeBron James has 21 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds for the Cavaliers, who were outscored 31-23 in the third.

___

10:35 p.m.

Good news for the Cavaliers: They finally got a free throw attempt, after LeBron James’ basket early in the second half.

Bad news for the Cavaliers: Golden State has all the other points in the third quarter.

The Warriors opened the third quarter with an 11-3 spurt to take a 63- 61 lead.

James was fouled while scoring after Cleveland didn’t attempt a free throw in the first half, when it led by as many as 13 points.

___

10:15 p.m.

Cleveland has a 58-52 halftime lead in Game 3 of the NBA Finals that would be much bigger if not for Kevin Durant.

Durant scored 24 points, the only Warriors player in double figures in a foul-plagued, poor-shooting first half for Stephen Curry.

LeBron James has 14 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and he’s getting more help than his counterpart Durant. Kevin Love had 15 points and 10 rebounds, J.R. Smith scored 10 points, and Rodney Hood made a nice contribution with six.

Cleveland led by as much as 13 in a half where Curry committed three fouls and was 1 for 8 from the field.

___

10 p.m.

LeBron James is on. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are way off.

James is up to 14 points, six assists and five rebounds midway through the second quarter, leading Cleveland to a 44-34 advantage. The Cavaliers also are getting a strong performance from J.R. Smith, with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Curry is just 1 for 8, missing all five 3-pointers, a game after making an NBA Finals-record nine 3s. Thompson, his backcourt mate, is 1 for 6.

___

9:40 p.m.

Cleveland’s strong start was almost entirely erased, thanks largely to Kevin Durant.

The 2017 NBA Finals MVP had 13 points and was 4 for 4 from the field as Golden State cut a 12-point deficit down to 29-28 after one quarter. Durant also grabbed all of the Warriors’ seven rebounds.

That helped Golden State overcome a combined 2-for-9 start for Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Curry also picked up two fouls.

Andre Iguodala entered midway through the period for his debut in this series and made his lone shot. LeBron James had six points and five assists for the Cavaliers.

___

9:30 p.m.

The Cavaliers quickly made seven of their first 13 shots — and throw out one of the misses, because it was on purpose.

LeBron James’ pass to himself off the backboard for a slam dunk was the early highlight as Cleveland raced to a 16-4 lead and are up 22-14 in the first quarter.

The 12-point margin represented the biggest lead of the series for the Cavaliers, who were ahead by 11 in Game 1.

J.R. Smith and Kevin Love both made 3-pointers and scored five points in the strong start.

___

9:10 p.m.

JaVale McGee remains in the starting lineup even though Andre Iguodala is available for Golden State, which is trying for a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals for the second straight year.

The Warriors could become the 14th team to win the first three games of the NBA Finals. All of the previous 13 have won the series.

The Cavaliers are used to being in this position. This is the fourth time in their five NBA Finals appearances that they’ve come home to host Game 3 staring at a 2-0 deficit.

They are the last team to get swept in the finals, dropping four straight to San Antonio in 2007.

McGee started in Game 2 and scored 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting

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