With the Warriors trailing 113-109, with 1:24 remaining, Durant came out of a timeout and drained a jumper over Cavs center Tristan Thompson that put the score at 113-111 with 1:15 to play, forcing a Cleveland timeout. His pulse was stronger in Game 3, making 4 of 5 from 3-point range in the first quarter and finished the first half with 21 points to help the Warriors take a 67-61 lead into the break.
Kevin Durant's three-game performance in the NBA Finals - he's averaging 34 points and 10 rebounds and hit the fourth-quarter 3-pointer that essentially ended the series last night - has made him the frontrunner for series MVP.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving completed breathless drives to the basket for a combined 77 points while Kevin Love battled for rebounds, out-hustling the Warriors on several occasions.
LeBron James and Co. had a six-point lead with a little over three minutes to play but went 0-for-8 during that period and couldn't get stops at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Warriors have been lackadaisical in Game 3s in the Finals the previous two seasons, losing both times in Cleveland.More news: Oakland triumphant as parade set to celebrate NBA's Warriors
"I knew it was going to be one of the toughest challenges I've had because of the firepower they have, because of the mindset that they were going to have. We're happy, we're pumped because of the way the game ended, but we got a lot of work to do".
The Warriors beat Cleveland in the 2015 Finals, lost the rematch a year later after putting together a record-setting 73-win regular season, and then signed four-times scoring champion Kevin Durant to bolster a roster overflowing with talent.
"You don't want to prolong a series and give a team more and more confidence", Green said.
"We have to come out with an unbelievable mindset, unbelievable focus like we have and limit some of the things they're comfortable at". "This has been the best team in our league the last three years".
Only if they take the foot off the gas does this game head back out to the Bay Area for a Game 5.
"It sets us up for hopefully a great night on Friday", Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. "And just we obviously - we want 16 wins; it doesn't matter how we get there".More news: Ken Starr: Not Enough Evidence for Trump Obstruction Case
"I said it after we won the Eastern Conference finals that we're getting ready for a juggernaut".
"I even dropped my mouthpiece because I was so uncoordinated in that sense", Curry said of his odd celebration. "He's been unbelievable player in this league for a long time and I think he senses this is his time, his moment, his team".
Golden State landed the next blows, but the Cavs kept coming back.
Durant's team mates were singing his praises after the game and said there was no doubt in their minds whose hands the ball should be in with the game's result hanging in the balance.
They will make the first unbeaten playoff run in National Basketball Association history with a victory in game four on Friday at Cleveland.More news: Twitter unveils new look, which users quickly mock