Crushing The Cavs: A Kevin Durant Story
There is a solid argument that Kevin Durant ended the season of the Cleveland Cavaliers — and every other team in the league— the moment he uprooted his Oklahoma City life and penned that history defining contract with the Golden State Warriors.
However, in game three of the NBA’s biggest stage, the future Hall of Fame member really did slam a hope-crushing nail into LeBron James and his Cavaliers’ coffin.
Splash Brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for just 21 points on a ghoulish 7–27 shooting, but the Warriors still took a commanding 3–0 series lead on the back of Durant’s playoff-high 43 points. The big night came on a blistering 15–23 (6–9 3PM) shooting while chipping in 13 rebounds, seven assists and one icy-veined game sealing bucket to cap off one of the great Finals performances.
“That’s what the Warriors are all about, just us having some fun out there, but also being poised and all of those good words” Durant told media after the performance.
The showing was a whole lot of fun to watch, Durant was oh so poised and there will be plenty of good words coming his way after a special, special night.
From the moment KD buried that patented turnaround fadeaway jumper, the switch was well and truly flicked. Before you knew it one splashed jumper became another, and another. Several flurries later he had hung 24 first half points on Cleveland. Without even batting an eye.
Durant wasn’t just getting buckets though, he was everywhere on the boards, too. Amazingly, throughout the first quarter KD was the only Warrior to grab a single rebound, and he had seven of them. Including this robbery of Kevin Love that led to an easy putback deuce.
LeBron James — in all his playoff-mode glory — matched Durantula’s first half output, posting 14 points, six rebounds, nine assists and a six point lead going into the main break.
When the infamous ‘third quarter Warriors’ rolled around however, there was nothing more The King and his army could do to stop the inevitable.
Golden State outscored their Finals adversaries by eight points in the period. Once again, the offensive prowess was mainly delivered by the flaming hot hand of Kevin Durant who finished the term with another 10 points, five rebounds and five dimes.
Seemingly every time that the 7-foot freak had the rock something amazing happened, but this pull-up triple 30 feet from the hoop was particularly stunning.
Last season’s Finals MVP was so hot that these unusually long bombs became a staple of his one man conquering of The Land.
The first 36 minutes of the Kevin Durant tsunami was already enough to have hoops heads swooning, however his clutch time heroics to finish off the Cavaliers was something from another basketball realm.
The 2014 MVP scored nine more points on a unsurprisingly efficient 4–6 from the field. The crowning jewel of the night came with just under a minute on the clock when Durant pulled up and connected on another deep triple, giving Golden State an insurmountable six point lead.
If there are bells ringing in your head, that’s because the huge bucket was almost identical to the 3-pointer he nailed in LeBron James’ face to finish the any Cavs hopes in game three of last year’s NBA Finals.
“I’m not done playing basketball yet so I don’t really look at these [shots] as defining moments” Durant said post-game.
Guess what Kevin? They are defining moments, and that Cleveland-killing jumper in Rodney Hood’s grill will live on in basketball fans’ memory for a long time.
Before last season began, KD crushed the Cavs hopes of building a dynasty around the aging but brilliant LeBron James. On Wednesday night, the all-time great further cemented his team’s legendary status and Cleveland’s misery.