And in both years, he delivered a classic shot: In 2017, Durant drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing as a dagger in Game 3. James has twice passed on the chance to sign with James Dolan's woefully underachieving, but storied, franchise as a free agent, but Martin said he thinks the arrival of Fizdale and James' legacy-building mindset could make the third time a charm.
Having similarly delivered at this stage a year ago, Durant has spent the last 12 months dodging questions about whether he will ever top his 2017 display, and he now plans to do the same when asked to analyse his latest performance. The Warriors also have above-average role players in 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. "I think it's one of the most underrated things when you talk about the success that we've had - because you can't really measure it".
James then went on to list what makes the Warriors great.
"Obviously, from a talent perspective, if you're looking at Golden State from their top five best players to our top five players, you would say they're stacked better than us". When you win a championship and you're around guys for a long period of time, and you know what you're capable of doing, all you need is to get healthy. Klay Thompson is good enough to be the main guy on a team and Draymond Green is an elite defender and considered one of the smartest players.
That gives Durant another forever-replayed moment - one that measures a little farther than last year's 3-pointer that helped the superstar forward win his first championship ring. "It won't be Golden State or Cleveland going", he added.
Durant, though, has the clearest path to the MVP trophy after a virtuoso 43-point performance in Game 3.
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Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls had two separate strings of three straight (1991-93 and 1996-98).
They overcame deficits of 17 and 15 points against Houston in the final two games of the Western Conference finals, the second of those on the Rockets' home floor.
Golden State clearly boasts all the tools to win another National Basketball Association championship.
The Cavaliers led Game 3 Wednesday by 13 in the second quarter.
But a lot of the angst won't be about the Warriors, it will be about James.
"If my shots were there I just took them patiently and with poise", Durant said.