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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 11:57 AM



You hear it all the time: The NBA is a "make-or-miss" league and that was quite apparent in the final three-plus minutes of Golden State's 118-113 win/cover over Cleveland in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.

The host Cavaliers - once-upon-a-time up 113-107 with just 3:08 remaining in the final quarter - missed their final nine field-goal attempts but it was that three-point corner miss by sharpshooter Kyle Korver (that would have put Cleveland up by five points) that really came back to bite the defending champs while it was that drive, dribble and stop three-point basket by the Warriors' Kevin Durant with 45.3 seconds left that turned out to be the ultimate dagger delivered by the once-and-future champs as that put G-State up 114-113.

It's safe to say that Golden State - now a perfect 15-0 SU (straight-up) this post-season - is one win away from at the very least getting into the conversation as the greatest single-season team in NBA lore (something we'll debate once this NBA Finals has been slammed shut) and while we're banging out the key numbers do keep in mind that NBA teams that sport three games-to-none playoff series leads are 126-0 SU all-time.

We shall - as the headline says - hit the rewind button on Warriors-Cavaliers Game 3 in just a moment but first this important reminder:

Folks, Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are ready to snag Side & Totals Winners in Friday's Game 4 of these NBA Finals and so just go online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Plus get all the Major-League Baseball winners every day too when you check with us as America's #1 Handicapper is gonna stay red-hot all month long!

GOLDEN STATE 118, CLEVELAND 113 - Warriors lead series 3-0, Game 4 is Friday at 9 p.m. ET, ABC

First off, a "thank you" to the Warriors and Cavaliers for giving us the most compelling NBA Finals game so far in this series and one of the best NBA Finals game we've all witnessed in some time ... and it's amazing how that game-ending 11-0 scoring run by the "Dubs" will go down in history because a Cavs' hoop here or there would have changed everything and then Game 4 on Friday would be one of the most anticipated sports events this calendar year.

But the soon-to-be-champion Warriors must get high grades in Game 3 for a few things that otherwise went unnoticed by the TV talking heads at NBA TV and ESPN:

Golden State overcame lots of terrible whistles in the first half - heck, it appeared to us that the referees were gonna hand Cleveland every advantage possible and yet still the Warriors rallied to lead by six points at intermission plus they actually wound up making one more free throw (22) than the Cavs;

Secondly, Golden State's board work continues to be quite underrated - it was nice to hear ABC game analyst Jeff Van Gundy point out the Warriors' rebounding prowess about midway through the third quarter - and here in Game 3 the West Coasters owned the 44-to-37 backboard advantage;

Finally, how about a round of applause for that defense: Hey, both LeBron James (game-high 39 points) and playmate Kyrie Irving (38 points) were forced to make a boatload of tough shots for the Cavaliers but neither could deliver in those final three minutes and that final James attempt wound up being a clean-as-a-whistle block/steal by 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.

The proverbial bottom line was that Cleveland's star duo simply were running low on energy late in the game while Durant (31 points), Stephen Curry (26 points and 13 rebs) and Klay Thompson (30 points including six trifectas) all had plenty of juice in the tank.

No blame to pass around here.

The Warriors were - by a smidge - the better team in Game 3 and the late-game trips to the free-throw line is what wound up giving G-State yet another pointspread cover (see chart below).
Make-or-miss league; If Korver drains that triple or Durant misses his "3", than NBA history is written differently than it it's likely gonna be following Friday night.

Here's the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series in game chart form (all home teams are in CAPS below):

6-1GOLDEN ST.- 7.5Cleveland 113-91
6-4GOLDEN ST- 9Cleveland132-113
6-7Golden St- 3.5CLEVELAND118-113

Here's the up-to-date NBA Playoffs Pointspread Breakdown chart for the still-alive teams:

Golden St.1140.733


Here's some of the Wednesday Major-League Baseball Newsmakers/Noisemakers you might have missed while watching the hoops:

The Baltimore Orioles - who may be the toughest team to beat while always using up their 27 outs every game - had the rally of the night with four runs in the bottom of the ninth as Trey Mancini whacked a game-tying two-run home run and then Mancini blasted a two-run dinger to win it in the 11th but how about the O's bullpen that didn't allow a run to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the game's final four innings? ...

And should we all be paying a bit more attention to the Seattle Mariners? Last night's come-from-behind 6-5 win against the visiting Minnesota Twins featured a two-out, two-run walk-off home run by Mike Zunino who walloped two of the Mariners' four taters. Note that the M's now have won nine of their last 10 games and defied critics who said their season was "done" a couple of weeks ago.

NOTE: Catch our NBA Finals Game 4 preview in tomorrow's editions of Jim Sez and make sure you're all aboard for NBA, MLB and Belmont Stakes winners these next few days!

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