LeBron James did what neither Stephen Curry nor Klay Thompson have been able to do so far and scored 30+ points in game 3 of the NBA championship series – which is now 2-1; the Golden State Warriors are still ahead but Cleveland Cavaliers fans who bet on NBA can regain a little faith in their team after the Warriors seemed on the verge of breaking out the broom. More importantly, the Cavs got the 120-90 win at home without one leg of their tripod, as Kevin Love missed the game with a concussion. Cleveland is 13-0 when scoring 100 points in these playoffs.
The other two legs more than made up for Love’s absence, though. James had 32 points (his 82nd 30-point career game), 11 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Kyrie Irving contributed 30 points and 8 assists. Additionally, J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson also scored double digits (20 and 14 points, respectively). Those the performances that people betting on basketball have been expecting out of the Cavaliers. On the other side of the court, Curry and Thompson once again scored fewer than 20 points each – and fewer than 30 combined. Draymond Green also had his token underperformance of the series with only 6 points. Harrison Barnes added 18 points and 8 rebounds.
Golden State didn’t seem like its usual self, which is a malady that has chronically plagued this team during the playoffs – they are 0-4 in Game 3s in this postseason. There’s only one word to describe last night’s Warriors and I’m gonna spell it out for you… s-a-w-f-t… Sawft. Hey, even coach Steve Kerr agrees with that assessment. “We were soft,” he said. “When you’re soft, you get beat on the glass and turn the ball over.” GS had 18 turnovers to Cleveland’s 13. The Cavs are 8-0 in the postseason (winning each of those games by an average of 22 points) at home and snapped a 0-7 losing streak against the Warriors. People who bet on NBA love those tidbits.
Kevin Love wanted to play but was not medically cleared to compete yet – and that may have been a blessing in disguise for the Cavaliers, because it forced coach Tyronn Lue to do more than just tinker around with the lineup. Richard Jefferson started in Love’s place and had 9 points and 8 rebounds in 33 minutes. James was moved to Love’s position and he tore up the pea patch. The Cavs led by 8 at halftime, and from the third quarter on, it was all Cleveland. People betting on basketball who appreciate a little bit of suspense welcome this win by the Cavaliers, but those GS fans who bet on NBA should not despair either.