LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers responded to the embarrassing loss in Game 2 of the NBA Finals by dominating Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors at home in Game 3. With the 30-point victory on Wednesday, the Cavs remain undefeated at home during the 2016 NBA Playoffs. However, if they want to bring home a championship to Cleveland and prevent back-to-back NBA Finals losses to Golden State, they will have to win at least one game in Oakland before the series is finished.
Per the NBA's concussion protocol, Kevin Love was not allowed to play in Game 3, forcing Tyronn Lue to come up with a new line-up as they returned home with the three-time NBA All-Star unable to play on Wednesday. With such a successful outcome in Game 3, it becomes a serious question whether or not Cleveland will start Kevin Love in Game 4, even if he is cleared for Friday night's game against the Warriors.
It's time to #DefendTheLand.Even with the big win, the pressure is still on for Cleveland to even the series in Game 4 on Friday night, as coming back from being down 3-1 in a best of 7 -- against the best team in the NBA with two games on their home court -- could prove to be an impossible task.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 9, 2016
Kevin Love concussion updateLong before Game 3 got underway, the Cleveland Cavaliers made the unfortunate announcement that Kevin Love would not be playing due to the concussion he suffered during Game 2. As noted by the official statement released by the Cavs:
"Love will remain in the NBA concussion protocol under the direct supervision and oversight of team physician Dr. Alfred Cianflocco, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher of the NBA and Cavs head athletic trainer Steve Spiro."With the Cavaliers having such a different outcome against Golden State with Kevin Love sitting out, the Twitter chatter began about whether or not to sit Kevin Love for Game 4 before Wednesday's game even concluded.
Cavs-Warriors Game 3 statsLeBron James had a game-high 32 points, and added 11 rebounds for a double-double. He also had six assists and a game-high two blocked shots, while also being responsible for a team-high five turnovers. Tristan Thompson had the only other double-double of the night, as the big man was good for 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Kyrie Irving chipped in 30 points and game-high eight assists. J.R. Smith had a game-high three steals. For the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry had a team-high 19 points and a game-high six turnovers. Harrison Barnes was one of Golden State's biggest contributors, good for 18 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Draymond Green had an impressive seven assists for the Warriors, but was only good for six points. Klay Thompson had just 10 points, two rebounds, and a single assist despite playing more than 30 minutes on Wednesday night.
RELATED REPORTS BY THE INQUISITR
- NBA: Are The Cleveland Cavaliers Starting To Play Like The Golden State Warriors?
- Ayesha Curry: Stephen Curry's Wife, Now a Star in Her Own Right, Back in Spotlight For NBA Finals
- LeBron James Gives Up McDonald's To Be The New Face Of Blaze Pizza
- 2015-16 NBA MVP is Steph Curry — LeBron James Questions What 'Valuable' Means [2016 NBA Playoffs]
- NBA Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers May Look To Trade Kevin Love
- Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons Owners Want MLS Soccer Expansion Team
- LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers Can't Handle Golden State Warriors Bench [Game 1]
- Kevin Love For Game 3? No -- Love To Return For Game 4 of Warriors vs. Cavs
NBA Finals: Where To Watch Game 4Game 4 of the NBA Finals featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors will be Friday, June 10, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Tickets for the game are sold out, although second market options are available to see Cavaliers vs. Warriors live at The Q for Game 3. As of Wednesday evening, the cheapest seats were being sold for $330 (before fees and taxes). The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. EST and will air on ABC. Game 5 of the NBA Finals will return to the Oracle Arena on Monday, June 13. Assuming it's necessary, Game 6 of the NBA Finals will once again be the Q in Cleveland Thursday, June 16. If it goes to Game 7, the 2016 NBA Champions will be crowned at Golden State's arena on Sunday, June 19.
[Photo credit Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]