The 4 moments that cost the Cavaliers the 2018 NBA Finals

CLEVELAND – As difficult as it is to digest, the Golden State Warriors completed a sweep of the Cavaliers Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

This was the ninth time a sweep happened in the NBA Finals and the first since the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Cavs in 2007.

The Warriors continued the axiom that no NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the postseason. Teams leading 3-0 are 132-0 in NBA postseason history.

But the Cavs had their chances throughout this series. We’ll never know what could’ve been had the Cavs won one of the first three games.

These four moments will haunt this franchise for a long time to come:

Game 1 - The controversial referee call: You think it would be J.R. Smith’s blunder at the end of regulation in Game 1. But it’s not J.R. It’s the play that led to the debacle. The Cavs led by two after rallying from being down six late in the fourth quarter. The Warriors’ Kevin Durant drove to the basket against the Cavs' Jeff Green. On the drive, Durant collided with LeBron James in the lane. The refs called a charge on Durant. Then they reversed the call on the replay. The Warriors defeated the Cavs 124-114 in overtime. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue later said James was “robbed” after James scored 51 points. The tone was set for the series. 

Game 2 - Curry’s record nine 3-pointers: There was not a particular moment in Game 2, simply the fact that Warriors guard Stephen Curry made an NBA Finals record nine 3-pointers en route to 33 points in a 122-103 win at Oracle Arena.

Game 3 - Durant’s 33-footer: Kevin Durant scored a playoff career-high 43 points in the Warriors’ 110-102 win over the Cavaliers in Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena. It was his 33-footer with 49 seconds left that put the Warriors up by six points – and yet another dagger in the hearts of Cavs’ fans. Durant was heckled by Cavs fans later at a downtown hotel, but that didn’t matter much. Durant showed why he’s the significant difference maker in the past two NBA Finals.

Game 4 - The three-pointers in the first half of Game 4: The Warriors made six three-pointers in the first quarter Friday night, none bigger than the one Curry made with seconds to go end the first half. The Cavs never recovered. Cavs killer Andre Iguodala made two three-pointers in the first quarter as the Warriors led 34-23. Iguodala hadn’t attempted a three in the series prior to Friday night. Curry went on to have his seventh 30-point game in the NBA Finals, according to Basketball Reference.

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