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Game 3: 24 Second Thoughts

POSTED: Jun 9, 2016 12:14 AM ET
UPDATED: Jun 9, 2016 1:13 AM ET

By Fran Blinebury

BY Fran Blinebury

NBA.com

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Postgame: LeBron James

LeBron James talks postgame following the Cavaliers blowout win in Game 3 over the Warriors.

24 — No John Legend. No Carlos Santana. No celebrities for Cleveland. A blue collar town does a blue collar act with the fans singing the national anthem. Now the full-throated crowd at The Q needs a blue collar effort from the Cavs. Oh yes, and LeBron James.

23 — Everybody said the Warriors would have to get a different kind of play from the Splash Brothers after a pair of quiet games to open the series. How's this for different? Back-to-back airballs by Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to open Game 3

22 — Richard Jefferson, getting first start of the playoffs in place of the concussed Kevin Love, nails a 3 from the right corner for a 9-0 lead in 2 1/2 minutes. After another Muhammad Ali pregame tribute, finally we have a fight.

21 — It's funny how the ball bounces right and things just seem to go your way when you play with attitude and aggression. Forget the Xs and Ox. It's taken to the start of Game 3, but the Cavaliers have finally decided to compete.

20 — After two off days of talking about taking himself out of Game 2 with cheap reaching fouls, Curry has already pulled on Kyrie Irving's jersey and gotten himself tangled with Irving on the next possession to pick up his second foul in the first quarter and goes to the bench.

19 — Nobody in the series needed to have a game more than Irving. And he's already had one in the first quarter with 16 points and three assists. Uncle Drew owns the playground.

18 — As if being down by 20 in the first quarter isn't bad enough, Warriors lose Thompson after he takes a shot to the left thigh and limps off to the locker room.

Klay Thompson Injury

Klay Thompson collides with Timofey Mozgov and limps off to the locker room in pain.

17 — First quarter score: Kyrie 16, Warriors 16.

Irving Erupts In The First

Kyrie Irving gets off to the hot start with 16 points in the first quarter.

16 — Somebody better tell the Cavs it wasn't about just coming out and trying to throw a haymaker for one quarter. Defensive intensity level had already dropped off badly and Warriors went on a 10-0 run.

15 — It takes nearly 18 minutes to get the first Splash. Thompson back in game wearing padded compression shorts for bruised thigh drives for layup. Klay and Curry 0-6 on 3-pointers. And yet there is no reason for anybody in Cleveland to feel comfortable.

14 — Latest episode of "Fear the Walking Dead." Yes, that's J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson coming back to life to take a bite out of Golden State.

Smith from Downtown

Off the Warriors turnover Kyrie Irving kicks it back to J.R. Smith who connects on the corner triple.

13 — Sure, the Cavs have to make up for Love's lost offense. But let's face it. They're a better defensive team without him on the floor and better equipped to guard Curry and Thompson.

12 — Looks like second year in a row MVP of regular season won't be MVP of Finals.

11 — A fellow called The Amazing Sladek just did a handstand on top of a stack of about 20 chairs at halftime. That's about how shaky the Cavs lead looks too.

10 — Maybe the best part of the night for the Cavs is that LeBron has been able to fly below the radar while his teammates stepped up their games.

Play of the Day: LeBron James

LeBron James makes the deflection and Kyrie Irving tosses it up to LeBron James for the nasty one-hand smash.

9 — The guy in the No. 30 jersey gets tangled up with James. No. 30 dribbles ball out of bounds on a sideline trap. No. 30 is now 1-for-6. What have they done with Steph Curry?

8 — How long have the Cavs been waiting for this kind of game from J.R.?

7 — Another day, another tantrum from Draymond Green. Obviously, the Warriors usually respond. But you could practically see several them rolling their eyes during the last timeout rant.

6 — There's your punctuation mark — LeBron steals from Curry, gives to Irving, gets it back on a high lob and reaches into the clouds for a one-handed spike.

5 — No, Mark Jackson. We can't see why the Cavaliers paid Tristan Thompson those big bucks, if he's only gonna have a game like this once every two or three weeks.

Tristan on the Boards

Tristan Thompson rips down the rebound and goes back up for the bucket plus the foul.

4 — For what it's worth, when Iman Shumpert fouls Shaun Livingston on jumper, Curry grabs dead ball and just tries to make layup to see ball go into the basket. But LeBron rejects the layup. That's the difference tonight. You're getting nothing. At all. Golden State 0-4 in Game 3s of the 2016 playoffs.

3 — All that talk the previous two days about whether these Warriors could beat Magic Johnson's Showtime Lakers of the 1980s. Could they have beaten this year's Lakers in Game 3? Curry and Thompson 10-26 and 4-16 on 3s.

2 — One good blowout deserves another. Let's just say LeBron & Friends were playing rope-a-dope.

1 — 120-90. Cavs in six?

Fran Blinebury has covered the NBA since 1977. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

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