Cavs’ best effort not good enough to beat the Warriors

Warriors 118 Cavaliers 113

CLEVELAND — LeBron James and Kyrie Irving couldn’t be stopped. J.R. Smith finally got started.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were so much better than in the previous two games.

They’re just not good enough to beat what may be one of the NBA’s best teams ever.

The Cavaliers fell into a 3-0 hole in the NBA Finals after the Golden State Warriors pulled out a 118-113 victory on Wednesday night.

Blown off the court in the second halves of the first two games, the Cavaliers surged ahead with a big third quarter and were still ahead with less than 3 minutes to play.

But the Warriors finished with an 11-0 run to steal the victory and all but assure themselves of taking Cleveland’s title. No team has blown a 3-0 lead in the NBA.

James had 39 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, but his attempt at a tying 3-pointer was blocked by Andre Iguodala and James stepped out of bounds after recovering it, slamming the ball to the court in frustration.

Irving bounced back from a rough Game 2 with 38 points, including a couple of dazzling layups where he juked around multiple Warriors.

Smith made five 3-pointers and scored 16 points, and Kevin Love gutted his way to nine points and 13 rebounds on a night he shot just 1 for 9.

The Cavaliers might have beaten anybody else the way they played, just as they did in Game 3 of last year’s Finals and as they did while rolling into the Finals with a 12-1 record.

But Golden State with Durant is on another level than the teams Cleveland roughed up in the Eastern Conference, and the Cavs just couldn’t hold them down long enough.

There was still time left on the clock when James walked off the court in frustration. He delivered another performance that reminded everyone he remains the NBA’s best player.

He’s just going up against a better team.

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