Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala has been upgraded to a game-time decision for Wednesday's Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the host Cleveland Cavaliers, coach Steve Kerr told reporters. Just like previous year, the ball was in his hands on the left wing with a chance to hit a big shot to take a 3-0 lead in the series.
He's not conceding. But he is clearly tipping his cap to the Warriors, his nemesis in each of the last four Junes and a team that's one win shy of beating him in three of those series.
"He's got (Kyle) Korver who's a great shooter, J.R. Smith who has always been a solid player - we focus on his one mistake and that tends to overshadow all the things he's done to help them win a championship before". We were up 6 with 25 seconds to go, I think.
As Warriors backup point guard Shaun Livingston was walking to the locker room after the game, he yelled: "That's the way to take all the air out of the building".
NBA Finals Game 3 is sure to be a showdown in Cleveland.
With six minutes left, Golden State tried the "hack-a-Ben" strategy in an attempt to get back into the game. He picked the right time to be dominant, since Steph Curry and Klay Thompson shot a combined 3-for-15 in the first half.
As for Iguodala's extended rest, he actually said he wasn't too upset that he had to miss the final four games of the Conference Finals and the first two games of The Finals. So the guys did a good job on those two guys. "We know they just faced this against Boston. But we've got to do a better job on KD".
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With seemingly everything going Golden State's way thus far, Cleveland does have one distinct advantage heading into Wednesday's Game 3: home court.
James had 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, but his Cavaliers will have to become the first team to climb out of a 3-0 hole in the NBA Finals. "When he has got it going, it's nearly impossible to stop".
Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven series are in Cleveland, where the Cavaliers have won their last eight playoff games. No one else other than Durant had more than 10 points for the Warriors. The Warriors clearly feel that they're a better team with him in the lineup, and that might be enough to give them the edge even if he's not 100 percent.
The Cavaliers lost Game 3 past year, won Game 4, before Golden State closed it out at home in Game 5.
James is averaging 40.0 points, 10.5 assists and 8.5 rebounds per game in the Finals. At plus-2.1 points, they have the second-widest scoring margin in those situations.
Kevin Durant defends as Le Bron James passes the ball in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
Iguodala finished with the second-highest plus-minus rating (14) on the Warriors, behind Kevin Durant's (15). The three-time champion can opt out of his $35.6 million contract and test free agency this summer, and it may be time for the 33-year-old to find a team capable of beating the Warriors.
Even during the 2016 title-winning campaign, Cavaliers had come back from a 1-3 deficit. The Cavs, on the other hand, were just 2-for-7 for five points in the final three minutes of Game 3.