Cleveland Cavaliers v Golden State Warriors

Kevin Durant's dagger secures win for Warriors, pushes Cavs to brink of elimination

kevin-durant-ftr-060718.jpg
Warriors forward Kevin Durant (Getty Images)

Warriors star Kevin Durant scored a playoff career-high 43 points Thursday night, including a dagger 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter, closing the door on the Cavs and leading Golden State to a 110-102 victory.

Durant went 15-of-23 from the field, 6-of-9 from 3-point range and a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line in one of the finest performances of his career. He made up for a lack of scoring from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who combined to go 7-of-27 from the field and 3-of-15 from beyond the arc.

LeBron James finished with a triple-double (33 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds), and Kevin Love chipped in with 20 points and 13 rebounds. But the Cavs fell apart in the second half, shooting 3-of-17 on 3-pointers in the second half. Golden State outscored Cleveland 58-44 in the final two periods, and the Cavs had no answer for Durant's scoring.

Check out the best highlights from Game 3 below...

Game 3 box score | Play-by-play

Final: Warriors 110, Cavs 102

11:31 p.m. ET - And that's it. Kevin Durant's brilliant performance gives the Warriors a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals. What an unbelievable showing.

11:27 p.m. ET - KEVIN. DURANT. DAGGER.

Warriors 106, Cavs 100 with less than a minute to go.

11:20 p.m. ET - It's a close one. Here's the situation...

Warriors 96, Cavs 95 with 3:19 remaining. Cleveland will take the ball out underneath its own basket after the timeout break.

11:13 p.m. ET - LeBron James drives left and finishes with his right. Don't think we've ever seen that before.

11:07 p.m. ET - Rodney Hood? Rodney Hood? The Cavs shooting guard has 15 points off the bench on 7-of-9 shooting. It turns out giving him some time was the right call by Tyronn Lue. (Better late than never!)

End of third quarter: Warriors 83, Cavs 81

10:57 p.m. ET - The Warriors win the third, 31-23, taking a two-point advantage into the final frame. Kevin Durant is putting on an offensive clinic: 34 points (11-of-17 shooting), 13 rebounds and five assists.

10:50 p.m. ET - What a terrific kickout pass by Kevin Love to George Hill for the open 3-pointer. The Cavs aren't done yet. They're only down by one with less than three minutes to go in the third.

10:42 p.m. ET - Yep, the Warriors are doing that thing they always do in the third quarter. It's a 17-6 run to start the second half. The Cavs must slow them down.

10:33 p.m. ET - And the game is tied. That was fast. Kevin Durant is still on fire. That's a big problem for Cleveland.

Halftime: Cavs 58, Warriors 52

10:15 p.m. ET - Well, that was a fun half of basketball. The Cavs played with tremendous energy and aggression to jump out to an early advantage. LeBron James has 14 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and Kevin Love already added another double-double to his playoff resume with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Durant is essentially saving Golden State with 24 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

10:03 p.m. ET - Kevin Love looks like a completely different player. He's got 15 points and nine rebounds in the first half. He's playing with confidence and not hesitating for a second on his 3-point attempts.

9:54 p.m. ET - Shaun Livingston just missed his first shot of the series. (Not the game. The series.) He had been 11-of-11 before Rodney Hood blocked his jumper.

9:48 p.m. ET - That's a 6-0 run for the Cavs to start the second quarter. LeBron James is feasting at the rim. The Warriors have not been able to stop him from reaching the paint.

End of first quarter: Cavs 29, Warriors 28

9:40 p.m. ET - The Warriors take the first punch from the Cavs and stand strong, heading back to the bench down by only one point. Kevin Durant already has 13 points and grabbed all seven of the team's rebounds in the first quarter.

9:30 p.m. ET - Draymond Green is trying to cut down the deficit, but he has to be careful. He's got one technical foul - he got caught talking a little too much trash with Tristan Thompson, who also earned a technical - and his reaction to his last personal could have easily gotten him booted from the game.

9:24 p.m. ET - Good news for the Warriors: Andre Iguodala has checked in. Bad news for the Warriors: That's two quick fouls on Stephen Curry.

9:15 p.m. ET - OH MY. LEBRON JAMES ELECTRIFIES THE HOME CROWD.

The Cavs take a 14-4 lead right off the bat.

9:00 p.m. ET - LeBron James looks to make more playoff history in Game 3. Tipoff coming soon!

8:45 p.m. ET - JR Smith will try any shot at least once.

8:30 p.m. ET - This stat makes sense because it's Kevin Durant, but it's also kind of crazy. Dropping 25-plus every game without an off night?

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