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Cavs Notes

Jim Ingraham: Cavaliers have no answer for Kevin Durant

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    The Warriors' Kevin Durant goes to the basket against the Cavaliers' Kevin Love in the first half Wednesday at The Q. Durant was too much for the Cavs to handle, scoring 43 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and handing out seven assists to lead the Warriors to a 3-0 series lead.

    AP

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CLEVELAND — Well, we’ll always have the Boston series.

For the overmatched Cavs, beating the Celtics in Game 7 in Boston will have to do for this year.

Because it’s all over but The Decision.

The Golden State Warriors all but wrote the finish to the Finals on Wednesday night, thanks to a one-man show that was even bigger and better than the Cavs’ one-man show.

Kevin Durant out LeBroned LeBron James, and the Warriors are just one win away from Warriorsing once and for all the weary, confused, defensively challenged Cavs.

This isn’t the end, but both teams can see it from here. Especially since the Cavs have no antidote for Count Durantula.

Wednesday night, Durant threw in a ridiculous 43 points over, around and through the beleaguered Cavs, who trail in the series 3-0 — and you know what that means.

No team has ever come back from being down 3-0 to win the Finals.

I know, no team had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the Finals until the Cavs did it to the Warriors two years ago. But this doesn’t feel like two years ago. Not even close.

This feels like the Warriors bulldozer is pushing the Cavs into The Ditch of No Return, and there’s nothing the Cavs can do about it.

Even when three of the Warriors’ All-Stars barely even show up, even when the Cavs outrebounded Golden State by 10, even when LeBron had another triple-double, none of it mattered.

It wasn’t enough.

The Warriors are too much.

They are too much for the Cavs. Now, and for however many more games there are in this series. The consensus on that: one.

Friday’s Game 4 could be one for the history books. The Warriors could win their third championship in four years - all of them against the Cavs — and it could be LeBron’s last game ever for the Cavs. Unless he doesn’t leave, or he does leave and then comes back a second time when he’s — what? — 39, for one final victory lap?

The Cavs heads are spinning. The heads of Cavs fans are spinning. I feel a little woozy myself.

The mighty Warriors Juggernaut can do that.

Here’s the deal. Here’s why the Cavs are in a 3-0 hole in the Finals, aside from the Game 1 refereegate:

The Cavs need to play at peak efficiency for all 48 minutes of the game in order to win. The Warriors don’t.

Even when LeBron gets help from the hired help, there’s no guarantee the Cavs can pull a victory out of the hat. Wednesday night Kevin Love had another double-double, 20 points and 13 rebounds. Rodney Hood came off the end of the bench and scored 15, and everybody’s favorite scorekeeper, J.R. Smith, scored 13.

There was also LeBron’s triple-double — 33 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists — although those numbers look better than they played.

The biggest problem in the fourth quarter was the Cavs’ always-leaky defense, which the Warriors shredded for numerous dunks and layups, using basic pick-and-rolls, the principles of how to defend continue to baffle the Cavs.

But the biggest problem was the biggest player.

Count Durantula.

“That was amazing,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr of his towering point machine. “Some of those shots he made, I don’t think anyone in the world could hit those — except him.”

Durant shot 65 percent from the field (15-for-23), 67 percent from on threes (6-for-9) and 100 percent from the foul line (7-for-7).

“Kevin was the story in the first half, and he was the story in the second half,” said Kerr, after his star and his team pushed the Cavs to one loss away from the end of the story.

At halftime the Cavs led by six, but in the second half Durant and the Warriors dropped a 58-44 water balloon on the home team.

The Cavs’ six-point halftime lead should have been at least double that, given that Steph Curry only scored two points, missing seven of his eight shots, including all five of his 3-pointers, and Klay Thompson only scored five.

Curry and Thompson were a combined 3-for-15 from the field and 1-for-9 on threes. Also in the first half, the Cavs shot 49 percent from the field and outrebounded the Warriors by 12 — but the Cavs STILL only led by six.

Curry missed his first nine 3-point attempts before finally making one in the fourth quarter.

“We did a good job on Steph and a good job on Klay,” said Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, “but we’ve got to do a better job on KD.”

Good luck with that one.

With the Warriors up 3-0, the horses are officially out of the barn, and the Cavs now are playing for self-respect.

Can they win one game? Can they avoid a sweep?

So many questions. So few wins.

Contact Jim Ingraham at 329-7135 or jingraham4@gmail.com and follow him @Jim_Ingraham on Twitter.

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