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Series on! // Game 3's big talking points

Kyrie Irving stars as the Cavs land their first victory of the NBA Finals. A 120-90 destruction of Golden State

Oh Cleveland, where have you been?

After losing two on the road, The Cavs were back on their home court and Kyrie Irving - who was largely anonymous during in both games in Oakland - lit up the game from the outset. The Cavs hunger and aggressiveness (an American word which everyone kept saying - which is closer to “assertion” than “aggression”) overwhelmed Golden State, who shot the ball poorly all night. 

LeBron James game 3 ()

 

….’Land of the free, home of the brave

During the final line of the American National Anthem LeBron rips off his warm-up jacket, throws it on the floor, flexes his muscle and roars (1:00 in the video below). His primal scream fills in the arena, sending 18,000 Clevelanders into overdrive. Perfect theatre. It’s time for the Cavs to step up. #DefendTheLand.

The game tips off, and Cleveland roar out of the blocks. Racing into a 9-0 lead. The Cavs are JACKED, The Warriors don’t look like they know what’s hit them. The first quarter finishes 33-16, Kyrie Irving leads the scoring with 16, Lebron hit four from four. Curry and Thompson finish the quarter with a combined ZERO points. 

The camera cuts to Jim Brown, the Cleveland Brown’s former full back, who won the city its last title, the Superbowl in 1964. He’s the greatest American footballer of all time, he’s about 80 and he’s cotching in a more reclined position than Danté the Forever Sports work experience boy from 2014. Brown raises a forefinger in acknowledgement. The whole place goes B.A.N.A.N.A.S again. 

Cleveland are back, and we finally, finally have a Finals on our hands. 

Mosgov gets heavy with Klay Thompson

Until an hour before things got underway, Timofey Mosgov was tipped to start in place of the Injured Kevin Love. Ty Lue went for Richard Jefferson, who provided The Cavs with some of the very few bright moments in Game 2. Despite still being best known for being a victim of this piece of ABH at the hands on Blake Griffin, the towering Russian has quietly built a respectable NBA career. Mosgov enters late in the first and makes immediate impact, flying into Klay Thompson who heads back to the locker room for treatment. He returns in the second quarter.

Post game, Klay Thompson is questioned about the incident and the Cavs aggressive approach. He says: “I’ve watched it back, I didn't get it. I don't know. I'm guarding Kyrie, running full speed downhill. I just don't know who is trying to set a pick on me in the middle of the key.

"If it's on the perimeter, I understand. But it didn't make sense. It seemed kind of dirty to me, He stuck his knee out too, but, you know what, that's basketball."

GSW hang in there. Steph shows signs of life then LBJ steps UP

Somehow, the Golden State come into half time only trailing by eight points, but the Cavs reassert their dominance in the third.

It takes Curry 31 minutes to hit his first three, he scores again about a minute later, but JR Smith, who led the Cavs in scoring, responds with a three of his own.

Both the Splash Brothers were subdued, Cleveland were quite heavy-handed with them, as well as the Mosgov incident, they left lingering elbows on Curry, who ended up frustrated and in foul trouble, with four. In short, Golden State’s two golden boys were not their usual selves. 

LeBron, who’s hustled hard all night, turns the ball over, on half court to Kyrie Irving, who throws it back, teeing LeBron up for the dunk, it looks overthrown, but Lebron hangs up, arm levered back like an oil well pump, he finds the ball behind his head and jackhammers the alley-oop. I jump out of my seat, nearly drop my macbook – it belongs to work, who just charged me £10 for a new staff pass, so a new Macbook Air probably comes out at like £16,000 or something. Cheers, LeBron.

The other Big Three

Without Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James are the Cavs two star men, and Kyrie, in particular, was outstanding, but  the work of the other three starters also really shone through last night.

‘Jumpshot Jesus’ JR Smith finished the game with 20 points (five three pointers), Tristan Thompson pulled down 13 rebounds and Richard Jefferson, an NBA finalist with the Nets in 2003, was efficient, smart and justified his selection in the starting five.

Everything ever said about GSW’s qualities is justified, but The Cavs are so, so good when they play aggressive basketball on the front. Golden State looked so bewildered at times.

SERIES. ON. !!!

 

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