Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers (-2, 206.5 o/u)
After they were demolished in the first two games of the series, not many were expecting the Cleveland Cavaliers (13-4 SU, 9-8 ATS) to dominate Game 3 of the NBA Finals the way they did, trouncing the Golden State Warriors (14-6 SU, 13-7 ATS) by 30 points. But dominate they did and now LeBron James and company are right back in the series.
Unless the Cavs back up that huge effort with another win tonight (9:00 PM Eastern at Quicken Loans Arena), it will all be for naught; falling behind 3-1 with two games left in the Bay Area would be a death sentence.
The Cavs started Game 3 with a 9-0 run and never looked back, winning 120-90. The Cavaliers are the first team in NBA Finals history to win a game by 30 points after losing a game in the series by 30 points.
James led Cleveland with 32 points and 13 rebounds while Kyrie Irving was the catalyst early, scoring 16 in the first quarter and 30 on the night.
The Cavs crushed the Warriors on the glass, out-rebounding Golden State 60-41, overall, and 17-8 on offensive rebounds. “We were soft,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr to the Associated Press after the loss. “When you’re soft, you get beat on the glass and turn the ball over.”
Strangely, the Warriors have now lost all Game 3s dating back to last season’s NBA finals. Wednesday’s game was arguably their worst of the postseason. Steph Curry finished with 19 points on the night, but it was mostly in garbage time; Harrison Barnes added 18.
It’s hard to imagine the Warriors playing as badly in Game 4 as they did in Game 3. After all, this team has only lost back to back games once this season, and they’d won seven straight against Cleveland before last game. I’ll put my faith in Curry to turn things around for his team.
Pick: Warriors (+2).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (Kevin Love) CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)