CLEVELAND (TNS) — The boos were loud. The refs whistles were quiet.
In Cleveland, the rim shrunk for Warriors' sharpshooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The rim grew wide for the Cavaliers' role players.
And despite facing all the challenging elements of a hostile road environment, the Warriors prevailed 110-102 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals and moved to within one victory of their second straight championship.
By Friday night, the Warriors could be the first repeat champs since the Miami Heat won back to back in 2012 and 2013.
Kevin Durant was the story of Game 3, scoring 43 points on 15-of-23 shooting. So when the Warriors needed a shot, Durant drained a go-ahead 3-pointer that gave the Warriors a 106-100 lead with 49.8 seconds remaining. Incidentally, Durant also hit a go-ahead 3-pointer last year against Cleveland with 45.3 seconds remaining. Both shots were closely taken in the same spot.
Though Draymond Green battled foul trouble (and his 5th technical of the postseason), the Warriors fiery leader made a dunk that gave the Warriors a 108-102 cushion with 25.2 seconds left.
Curry and Thompson had only a combined 21 points on a combined 7-of-27 shooting and a 3-of-15 mark from 3-point range. But after missing his first nine 3-point attempts, Curry hit his first 3-pointer when the Warriors needed it most _ a trey with the Warriors clinging to a 98-97 lead with 2:38 left.
The Warriors had expected what it saw from LeBron James (33 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds) and Kevin Love (20 points 13 rebounds). But they also had to account for a growing supporting cast. JR Smith scored 13 points and Rodney Hood came off the bench for 15.
The Warriors countered with more depth with rookie Jordan Bell (playoff career-high 10 points), JaVale McGee (10 points) and Andre Iguodala (eight points), who played after missing the past six playoff games with a left knee injury.
Game 4 is Friday night in Cleveland.