LeBron James regrets how he defended Warriors’ Kevin Durant in NBA Finals Game 3
With Stephen Curry expected to be out of the mix for the contest due to his ankle injury, it has put the spotlight on the matchup between LeBron James and Kevin Durant. This has seemingly brought up the attention toward one of the crucial sequences in Game 3 of 2017 NBA Finals that saw James give Durant too much space to knock down a go-ahead 3-pointer in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.
It is still something that James admitted has stuck with him as he wishes that he defended that play differently, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.
“I was a little bit too far off of him,” James said. “I still got a great contest but I was still too far off of him. So, I wish I could have that play back but you can’t. But it was a big-time moment for him, obviously. They played exceptionally well last year in the Finals. He was definitely the difference maker.”
It was a game-changing moment as it helped cap a huge comeback by the Warriors erasing a six-point deficit late to take a commanding 3-0 series lead they would not relinquish. If the Cavaliers had squeezed out that win, it could have changed the outlook on the series as the momentum would have been on their side for Game 4 that led to their historic offensive outpouring in Game 4.
That said, it doesn’t all lie on James’ shoulders as Kyle Korver had missed a corner 3-pointer that would have given the Cavaliers a five-point advantage with just under a minute remaining. That missed three was immediately followed up by Durant’s big shot.
Ultimately, this is all revisionist history that may only at this point provide James more motivation to get back to that stage this season.