Cleveland: Defending champion Golden State, powered by 43 points from Kevin Durant, moved to the brink of a third National Basketball Association title in four seasons Wednesday by defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-102.
Smith, the three-time National Basketball Association champ will meet with the Golden State Warriors this summer. Game 4 is Friday night.
"That was awesome what he did out there", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
"Just for him, just as a person, to be healthy and be able to play in the Finals now that we're here, I think that would mean a lot to him and give us an emotional boost, as well". The pair combined for just 21 points in Game 3, but it hardly mattered thanks to a career playoff-high 43 points by Durant on 15-for-23 shooting and 6-for-9 on 3s.
"It's definitely a tough loss and we had our chances", James said. "You can't have mistakes". But Kevin Durant kept them from walking through it. Durant was the only Warrior to eclipse 11 points, as point guard Steph Curry shot 3 of 16 from the field and shooting guard Klay Thompson scored 10 just points.
Then, as they've done so often during their current run, Golden State held a scoring edge in the third quarter. With 49.8 seconds on the clock, he hit a three-pointer from 33-feet out to put the Warriors on top, 106-100. It's nice when we are both going and have the opportunity to feed off each other.
Golden State guarded James better in Game 2-though he still scored 29 points on 50 percent shooting and had 13 assists-and they could be even better equipped to slow down James in Game 3.
"[That's why they] went out and got KD, to where there's really not much pressure on - you know, I won't say "any of them" to score, but if one of them has a bad game, they have three or four guys that can actually pick up the load". LeBron James is averaging 34.5 points and nine assists while Kevin Love is averaging 15 points and 10.3 rebounds.
Both teams battled through a tight one-possession game throughout most of the fourth, exchanging leads but also missing several shots that could have proved difference-making for either side. For ourselves and for our fans, we've got to go out there and give everything we've got.
"He hit that dagger 3 a year ago, except maybe 5 feet closer".
It erased a lead that Kevin Love and J.R. Smith helped LeBron James establish in the first half.
Warriors' Stephen Curry, the master of three pointers, has been in superb form so far in the championship.
Cleveland might have found something with Hood, but it ultimately didn't create the win it so desperately needed.
Cleveland has been close in two games of this series and yet it was obvious to James as he fell into a chair at his post-game press conference that Golden State is too loaded. "We're one game away from elimination". They got back to their roots in game two of the series and ended the game with five different players in double figures in points.