The Golden State Warriors did it again. Their Game 3 victory puts them up 3-0 in the series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was rough and disputed until the last minute of play. NBA fans had been awaiting such a close match between the two biggest forces in the league.

The Cavaliers failed to close the match down the stretch after having captured a lead with few minutes left on the clock. On the other hand, once again, an inspired Kevin Durant emerged as the Warriors' hero thanks to an impressive three-pointer over LeBron James that gave them the final lead. The Warriors are one step away from sweeping the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and conquering the 2017 NBA championship.

LeBron excels until crunch time

With 2 minutes and 25 seconds left in the game, the Cavaliers were up 113-107. The time had arrived when the chosen ones appear and lead their team to victory. However, no Cavalier showed up in those final moments of the game. Kyrie Irving is the apparent closer of the team, but, after having expended so much energy rescuing the team in the third quarter, he was less aggressive down the stretch. Thus, all eyes were on LeBron James, but he was nowhere to be found.

After an extraordinary first half where he drove to the rim at will and kept his teammates in sync, LeBron became less aggressive in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter, and his shot was not there when it counted most.

LeBron's 39 points (in addition to 11 rebounds and 9 assists) and Kyrie Irving's 38 points mean, nothing not only because of the loss, but because they could not pull through when their team desperately needed their leaders to show up in crunch time.

Irving can be given a pass because he was able to bring the Cavaliers back into the game and raise the intensity of his teammates in the third quarter.

The Warriors could have extended their lead, so Irving's performance during that first crucial moment of the game can only be lauded. On the other hand, LeBron's points and aggressiveness mostly came in the first half, when the stakes are at their lowest.

James scored 12 points on 4-13 attempts from the field and went scoreless in the last three minutes of the game.

He is the best player in the world, and has been for a while, so one would assume that the Cavaliers would count on scoring in the last 3 minutes and 9 seconds of the most important game of the year. That was not the case last night. Unfortunately for his team, this has been a familiar narrative throughout LeBron's illustrious career.

Durant is taking the Warriors to the promised land

Kevin Durant, on the other hand, showed up when his team needed him the most. A pull-up jumper over Tristan Thompson with 1:15 on the clock and then a ridiculous 3-pointer over LeBron in transition, with 45 seconds remaining, gave his team the final lead and victory. Durant scored 14 points in the fourth quarter alone.

Seven straight points came in those last two minutes of the game. He ended up with 31 points.

Stephen Curry made big plays. His 26 points and especially his 13 rebounds prove that he played with a high level of intensity and focus throughout the game. Klay Thompson also kept the Warriors afloat in many moments of the game with key 3-pointers. His 30 points, including six three-pointers, and his defense down the stretch propelled the Warriors towards the victory.

Will the Golden State Warriors sweep the mighty defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers? Are we witnessing a changing of the guard between LeBron James and Kevin Durant? We will first have to wait to see the outcome of Game 4 of the NBA finals on Friday at 9 p.m.

Eastern Time.

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