The Cleveland Cavaliers entered Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals with the hope that they could temper the offensive onslaught exhibited by the Golden State Warriors in their two series-opening wins. The first quarter only confirmed that the defending champions will need a lot more than good vibes to stop this year’s title favorites.
The Warriors lit it up from long range in the first quarter, making 9-of-14 3-pointers to set a new NBA Finals record for threes in a period. Stephen Curry broke the mark on a step-back three with 1:36 on the clock and added Golden State’s ninth triple just 26 seconds later.
Curry and Kevin Durant both made two 3-pointers in the period, but the most prolific Warriors shooter was Klay Thompson. The less-heralded Splash Brother made 4-of-5 threes in the first for an early game-high 16 points. Thompson had previously logged just his second four-three game of the postseason in Sunday’s Game 2.
The Warriors made three more 3-pointers to set another record for threes in an NBA Finals half with 12, breaking their own record of 11 set in Game 5 of last season’s series against the Cavaliers. However, Golden State cooled off in the second half to finish with only 16 3-pointers, although Kevin Durant’s huge triple with 45 seconds left clinched the 118-113 win and a 3-0 series lead.
The Game 3 record follows another historic shooting performance in the previous game, when the Warriors made 18 3-pointers to match the record for makes in an NBA Finals game.
The Warriors have put up big first-quarter scoring numbers so far in the NBA Finals. Their 39 points in Wednesday’s opening period followed 40 in Game 2 and 35 in Game 1.
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