This trio made the Cavs as Eastern Conference champions that's why they are in the NBA Finals against the Warriors, the same team they beat past year for the crown. Bigger than all of them and all of that.
Despite an impressive effort from the Cleveland Cavaliers in general and the duo of Kyrie Irving and LeBron James in particular, the Cavs find themselves down 3-0 in the series following a 118-113 loss to the Warriors.
Game 4 is slated on Saturday (Manila time) at the Quicken Loans Arena. "I mean, who am I to say if it's fair or not?" Irving shot 11-for-14 and scored 28 points and James was 7-for-11 and had 22 points in the first half.
Now, nearly a year later, comes a moment in a Game 3 that felt a little bit like a Game 7 for the Cavs.
The Warriors entered the game mindful of what had happened against the Cavs in Game Three of the Finals last season.
The Warriors set a Finals record for three-pointers made in a quarter (nine in the first) and in a half (12) and finished 16-for-33 from beyond the arc.
"It just looks like he understands this is his moment, this is his time", Kerr said. KD stepped up and made plays.
"Obviously K.D. made some huge plays down the stretch", Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said.
Big shots and an incredible highlight play where James threw a pass off the backboard to himself and flushed a dunk, fueled their third quarter run.
But after a draining loss to the Warriors in Game 3, the Cavs will have to guard against a letdown, not to mention Golden State's vaunted lineup that was built to dominate for years. Exactly the same kind of freefall, as a matter of fact. The Cavs went the last three minutes and change in Game 3 without a bucket. Love missed after that. It's a miss-or-make league.
While LeBron James scored 31 points and Kyrie Irving added a game-high 40, the discussion after the game was not about Cleveland's multiple scoring records, but how the officials stole the spotlight. After the 118-113 defeat, James conceded that the Warriors boast of the "most firepower" he has ever seen during his illustrious National Basketball Association career. Wasn't destiny that had brought them together.
Will that difference carry over to Game 5 is a question for another day.
They spoke openly of their desire to beat Jordan's 72-win team in 1996, but this time have downplayed the importance of 16-0. Now we can look ahead to Friday, all our focus is on that.
The Warriors recruited Kevin Durant from the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had lost to Golden State in the Western Conference Finals. Four of the other Golden State victories have been beatdowns. In the finals, with his rebounding, passing and defending, he has helped steer them to a 3-0 series lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the Lakers lost Finals Game 1 to IN before ripping off four more wins.