NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley believes fatigue played a major role in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ game 3 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night. Barkley, who served an analyst for NBA TV, thought Cavs stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ran out of gas in the closing minutes of the game, making the impossible to hold on their 6-point lead with just under two minutes left on the clock.

Exhausted Cavaliers

While the Cavaliers managed to make the game competitive and even put themselves in a position to win late in the game, Barkley said he wasn’t surprised to see the Eastern Conference champ struggling down the stretch.

He pointed out LeBron and Irving, who combined for 77 points in the game, simply didn’t have the legs to play deep in the fourth quarter.

“I am not stunned,” Barkley said when asked if he was stunned by the Warriors’ late-game comeback. “The way it finished was exhaustion. If you honestly watched the game and watched the body language on the Cavs, in the third quarter they were exhausted. Even if they had the lead in the fourth quarter, every time out they were hand to hand and bent over. That’s just fatigue down the stretch."

Warriors’ pacing is too much

Barkley, who predicted the Cavaliers to win the NBA Finals trilogy with the Warriors before the start of the series, also added the Cavs cannot anymore play the same fast-paced offense they did in the last three games, because it’s obviously clear the Warriors were much better at that pace.

Moreover, LeBron and Irving’s assignment of guarding Durant and Steph Curry also tested the Cavs stars’ stamina throughout the 48-minute contest.

“Listen, the Warriors make you tired.” Chuck on how hard to defend the Warriors. “Irving has to guard Steph Curry and LeBron has to guard KD.

That’s a lot to ask of two guys.”

Too much firepower

In the post-game press conference, LeBron finally admitted that the Warriors possess "probably" the most firepower he had ever faced in his career. Before the start of finals series, the four-time NBA MVP was adamant to anoint the Warriors as the best team he had ever faced in the NBA Finals since he also took on teams with multiple Hall of Famers such as the San Antonio Spurs and the Boston Celtics.

However, after witnessing how explosive the Warriors can be with Durant, Curry and Klay Thompson leading the way, LeBron might have give in to the fact that this year’s Warriors are just on a different level.

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