Cleveland had a record-setting 3-point shooting display, making an NBA record 24 three-pointers in a 137-116 destruction of the Warriors to avoid a sweep in the NBA Finals.
But that’s barely the story.
In the first quarter, the referees called so many fouls on the Warriors, the Cavs shot a record 22 free throws. They grabbed control of the game, and Golden State never pulled within single digits again.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Kyrie Irving was insanely good, scoring 40 points, including 7-of-12 on three-pointers. He was 0-for-7 from deep in Game 3. LeBron, also good: 31 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds for his record-setting 9th NBA Finals triple-double.
Now, the bad: There were seven technical fouls. Overall, 51 fouls were called. Draymond Green was briefly ejected, and then he wasn’t. Richard Jefferson and Iman Shumpert got away with murder on Stephen Curry (4-of-13 shooting, just 2-of-9 on three-pointers), he was knocked down at least three times, the physical play clearly got to him.
The series goes back to Golden State Monday night for Game 5, when the pressure will be on the Warriors to close it out, because if they lose that game and have to go back to Cleveland …