CLEVELAND, Sporting Alert – LeBron James collected 32 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and the Cleveland Cavaliers secured a 120-90 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night. Box Score
James and the Cavaliers entered the contest down 2-0 against the defending champions, after losing both games in Oakland last week.
But desperate to avoid going down 0-3 in the series, the Cavs jumped all over the Warriors from the opening quarter to lead 33-16 after the first period and 51-43 at the end of the first half.
James and Cleveland then outscored Golden State 69-47 in the second half en route to a 30 point victory to trim the NBA Finals series to 2-1.
“Coaching staff gave us a great game plan and we executed it for 48 minutes,” said team leader James.
All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving bounced back from a rough patch in the first two games to contribute 30 points on 12-for-25 shooting and eight assists for the Cavs, who improved to 8-0 at home in the playoffs this term.
J.R. Smith shot 7-for-13 from the floor and made five 3-pointers on his way to scoring 20 points, while Tristan Thompson added a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds in the win.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 19 points, but had six turnovers and was 3-for-9 from 3-point-range.
Curry’s backcourt partner Klay Thompson missed his first five shots of the game, including a 0-for-4 start from long-range.
He ended the contest with just 10 points, which all came in the second quarter, after he went without scoring in three of the four periods.
“We were soft,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “When you’re soft, you get beat on the glass and turn the ball over.”
Game 4 in the series in on Friday and James is hoping for a similar overall effort from the Cavs.
“We’ve got to give the same effort on Friday,” he said. “It started defensively and it trickled down to the offensive side.”
They Cavaliers played Game 3 without starting forward Kevin Love, who sat out with concussion.