Is Golden State's Durant the best player in the world?
Jun 11 2017 by Kristina Bennett
Lebron James passed Magic Johnson with the most triple-doubles in NBA Finals history, posting his ninth Friday night.
But NBA superstar Lebron James, a hometown hero in Cleveland, led his team to three consecutive wins, giving the city its first sports championship in 62 years. "They would all kill us".
Irving scored 28 of his 40 points in the first half and James finished with 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
Durant then followed a Kyle Korver 3-pointer miss for Cleveland with a tension-packed 3-pointer with 45 seconds remaining that put the Warriors ahead 114-113. Particularly as you go deeper, it gets tougher and tougher.
Cleveland likely has enough pride to go down fighting, and it would be uncharacteristic of someone like LeBron James to loaf through a competition but the Warriors seem bulletproof to a letdown. Broke the record of 14 straight post-season wins previously held by the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, who did it in 1992-93. Kevin Durant and James exchanged words in the third quarter for an extended time. Or Jordan could revert back to his prime, today, and face James.
However, the top-seeded Warriors, seeking their second title in three seasons, are playing at another level and, barring a meltdown of epic proportions, will soon be celebrating their second National Basketball Association title in three seasons. Because that is certainly a discussion worth having. Kyrie Irving was the game's leading scorer with 40 points and Kevin Love chipped in with 23 points for the Cavs.
All of this ring a bell yet?
Durant simply hopped on the Warriors' home-grown talent bandwagon after he failed to eliminate them in the 2016 playoffs, despite taking a 3-1 series lead on them with the Oklahoma City Thunder. And not just on Russell Westbrook's behalf either. Golden State was whistled for 12 fouls in the first quarter, resulting in 22 free throw attempts. He was joining forces with the enemy. His addition has taken the Warriors to a completely different level and made them, to date, literally unbeatable in the playoffs.
Steph Curry is known for a lot of things, but he added to his expansive resume of unique on-court celebrations Thursday by doing something he's not even sure about. And this is why the Cavs looked so utterly demoralized afterward, when they all but admitted there's simply nothing they can do about this Warriors team now that Durant has chosen that blue and gold jersey.
The only 2001 playoff loss by the Lakers came in the first game of the finals against Philadelphia.
The Heat needed help when James and Bosh arrived. That doesn't do much for the neutral fan that isn't invested in either team.
"I think it's just part of my calling to just go against teams in the midst of a dynasty", James said. "I'm just trying to be solid for my team-mates".
"Not something I'm thinking about or any of us are thinking about", Kerr said of the chance to run the table.
"Draymond got a tech, he gathered, got it back together, we moved on".
The strongest competition for ABC came from NBC's "Little Big Shots" (7 million) and three CBS dramas in repeats: "NCIS: New Orleans" (5.1 million), "Criminal Minds" (4.7 million) and "Code Black" (4.2 million). Much like the Warriors are now.
The tone was set in a marathon first quarter, with the chippiness and chirping reaching its high point for the series.
"Obviously it's working and we have to keep that keyhole mentality of: What's next?"