"We gave ourselves a chance". We know throughout the course of a 48-minute game, there are going to be plays where it was miscue here or a miscue there.
The Golden State Warriors cleared Andre Iguodala to play in Game 3 of the title series against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night, following a six-game absence to deal with a bone bruise around his left knee.
"That was wonderful what he did out there tonight", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
"Just for him, just as a person, to be healthy and be able to play in the Finals now that we're here, I think that would mean a lot to him and give us an emotional boost, as well".
"That's what championship teams do", James said. While the Cavaliers are now a long shot to win the Finals, expect James and company to show pride and fight for respect on Friday night. They sensed when he was dancing into shots and stuck their hands straight up, only for Durant to rise a little higher and make the shot over them.
Oddly enough, for Cleveland's supporting cast - who have been wildly sub-par and inconsistent through two Finals games - playing at home doesn't always translate to success.
"Incredible, even by his standards", Love said. "We just don't know".More news: Lava from Hawaii volcano destroys hundreds more homes
Kevin Durant refused to label his match-winning game-three performance for the Golden State Warriors as his career's "defining moment", as he plans to create more. "That's just who they are at that point".
But on social media, much of the chatter early in the evening was about LeBron James' first-quarter dunk.
"It seems like he has some good talent to me", Bryant told Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times. "But I'll be in the lineup on Friday". Kevin Love had 20 points and 13 rebounds and J.R. Smith finished with 13 points, finally making some shots.
"We got stagnant", Love said. "And then he was the story in the second half as well, closing it out".
Durant, however, had 24 points in the opening two quarters, including a deep 3 on Golden State's final possession of the half, and the Cavaliers took a 58-52 lead into the intermission. Aside from Rodney Hood, who came out firing after being buried on the bench the first two games, Cavs players not named James who thrived in the first half shrunk. He converted only three of his 16 attempts from the field - and one of 10 in 3-pointers - for 11 total points, and unlike Games 1 and 2, wasn't terribly effective attacking off the bounce.
They put on a spirited display and stayed in the contest until the closing minutes but another late dagger three by Durant put the game to bed for the Warriors.
Iguodala, the 2015 finals MVP, scored eight points and made one steal in 22 minutes, but his impact went beyond those numbers.