3 takeaways from Game 3 vs. Warriors

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It was a friendly, yet appropriate gesture between former teammates and good friends off the court after Durant's memorable performance took down Perkins' Cavs and all but eliminated them from the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year.

But the Warriors grabbed their first lead of the game during a 17-6 run to start the third quarter, setting the stage for a tense finish to a game that saw 11 lead changes.

Golden State just has to avoid an Atlanta Falcons-esque collapse, which seems like a safe bet given how rarely the Warriors lose their composure. The Golden State Warriors are allowing 31.4 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 45.1 rebounds per game.

Nearly a year to the day of last year's Game 4 loss, Durant and the Warriors can redeem themselves if they sweep the Cavaliers on Friday night.

The Cleveland Cavaliers need a victory here to save their season and force a game five on Monday. In nine home games, James is averaging an absurd 38.1 points per game, while shooting just over 40 per cent from beyond the arc. If the Warriors sweep the Cavs, it will be the first time an National Basketball Association team has gone winless in the Finals since a young James and the Cavaliers fell to the 2007 National Basketball Association champion San Antonio Spurs. Kyle Korver is grabbing 2.4 rebounds and George Hill is dishing 2.3 assists.

Kevin Love gave the Cavaliers a one-point edge on his second free throw with 3:11 to play in regulation. "But Friday morning when I wake up, I'll be locked in and ready for Game 4".

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JR Smith was the third Cavalier starter to tally double-figures but, like Love, did most of his damage early - tallying 10 of his 13 points before intermission, going 3-of-10 from long-range, 5-of-14 from the floor overall to go with a game-high three steals.

Stephen Curry had been ice cold before a pair of baskets late in the fourth, but hit a dagger 3 with 2:38 to go, and despite James' 3 in response, Cleveland never led again.

There are some interesting observations to be had with this list, but arguably none more startling than half a dozen teams being given a better chance of signing LeBron than the Cavaliers.

Golden State is one win away from capturing back-to-back titles and three in the past four years. The Cavs simply don't have the horsepower to hang for 48 minutes, and when you're down 0-3 in the series, you're now battling the fact guys check out.

James went to the line with 4 minutes, 24 seconds to play and sank both shots, yet the lead was short-lived as Durant made another shot on the other end. By declining his player option for $26.2 million next season, Durant can negotiate a new long-term contract with the Warriors and stay with the team for the foreseeable future. This is likely a sweep.

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