Nearly a year to the day of last year's Game 4 loss, Durant and the Warriors can redeem themselves if they sweep the Cavaliers on Friday night.
"Andre helps us in every regard, " Golden State coach Steve Kerr said before the game.
"Don't get me wrong, every time I make a shot in the National Basketball Association, I get excited", he said. The 3-0 deficit has, until now, been insurmountable in National Basketball Association playoff annals.
The Cavs began the second quarter with an 21-9 run, James scoring eight points and Love netting the final eight for Cleveland to produce their biggest lead at 50-37.
Wednesday night's Game 3 of the NBA Finals was the 100th playoff game of Draymond Green's tenure with Golden State. And on a night where Stephen Curry couldn't shoot and Klay Thompson wasn't much better, Durant put the Golden State Warriors on his slender shoulders and carried them to the brink of becoming back-to-back National Basketball Association champions for the first time.
After some contentious calls in the first two games, the official Twitter account of the National Basketball Association referees tweeted during game three to confirm James' pass to himself off the backboard was legal.
The Cavaliers opened their biggest lead of the series at 13 points and maintained a double-digit advantage through much of the first two quarters, built mostly through the shooting of James and Smith and the rebounding of Kevin Love, who has quietly had a tremendous series.
James had yet another triple double with 33 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds, and Cleveland saw terrific games from Kevin Love (20 points) and Rodney Hood (15), but in the end, it wasn't enough. "We want to come out, respect the game and try to win this thing".
Golden State now leads the series 3-0.
When it comes to pure talent, James admits the Warriors have more than the Cavaliers, but notes the Cavs have played them tight to the final minutes in two of the three losses. The Golden State Warriors can beat the Cavs playing their C game and only need one of their four stars to play well.
As Curry and Thompson struggled with their three-point shooting early, Durant was unstoppable, using his long arms to shoot over the Cavs' defenders, nearly single-handedly keeping Golden State in the game at half-time when they trailed just 58-52.
"We've had an opportunity to win two of these games in this series and we haven't come up with it", James said. Yes, they led for the majority of Game 3.
Kevin Durant torched the Cavaliers with a playoff-career high 43 points as the Warriors overcame a 13-point, first-half deficit to close in on their third National Basketball Association title in four seasons.
The Cavs kept the game close through most of the fourth quarter.
"For me, tonight will be tough", James said.
LeBron James just had to tip his hat.