Lebron led the way once again for the Cavs and has his teammates playing at higher levels. The 40 points he scored in Tuesday’s 96-91 victory brought his three-game total to 123 points. That’s the highest figure ever through three games in the Finals; he moved past Rick Barry (122), Jerry West (118), Michael Jordan (117) and Shaquille O’Neal (116). LeBron once again worked his way toward a standout box score line. He sat just two minutes in the win, tossed in 40 points on 14-of-34 shooting, added eight assists, 12 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. James also altered a series of shots in the paint as Golden State failed to execute its previously prolific offense yet again. James sat for just 120 seconds in the win. He acted as the linchpin that Curry could not, drawing the Warriors defense into his range without forcing either passes or shots. He systematically devoured whatever lineup Golden State trotted out – a dive into David Lee here, a roll against Draymond Green there, a pounce in Harrison Barnes’ mug just to be sure – while dominating yet again. His defense both on and off the ball was superb.
Hall of Fame Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown, arguably the most dominant player in NFL history, took in the Cavs’ eventual 96-91 win from a courtside seat. LeBron acknowledged his presence right before tipoff with a quick bow. Brown had this to say about LeBron,
“In a subtler way, he has had to carry the same kind of burden and use the same kind of wisdom,” Brown said. “For him to have to have the ability to deal with the politics of being back in Cleveland, dealing with the politics of his own team, I have great admiration for what I see as a great contribution by a human being on and off the field. “In Brown’s Cleveland, there was segregation and discrimination. There is segregation, too, in James’s Cleveland, but blacks with wealth — like James — are able to navigatearound some forms of racism. […] Scoring touchdowns was not the only source of Brown’s greatness, nor are points the sole source for James’s. What Brown did, and what James is now trying to do, is inspire those around them to reach higher than they thought possible. “The way he expresses himself, the way that he plays, and the understanding that he has of what his role is, is very refreshing,” Brown said of James. “It’s rare for a man that young to have that kind of wisdom.
The Warriors Way can’t be applied to this series. Not with Curry in a prolonged shooting slump that spanned three games and three quarters until he made 6 of 9 shots in the fourth quarter Tuesday night. His final stat line of 27 points on 10-for-20 shooting and 7-for-13 on 3s masks how debilitating his 1-for-6 start was for Golden State. This was the 10th time in the 2014-15 regular season and playoffs he has made at least seven 3-pointers; it’s the first one of those games the Warriors have lost.
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