Stars of the Hardwood – NBA Finals Game 3

KELLY – I didn’t think I would be writing that the Cavaliers beat the Warriors by double digits but thanks to this man, I have to.

LeBron James, along with the rest of the Cavaliers team, was rejuvenated in front of their home crowd. They came ready to play, starting quick and never giving the Warriors a chance to feel comfortable. I mean at one point in time Steph Curry had more fouls and more turnovers than points. That’s incredible.

J.R. Smith and Kyrie Irving came alive tonight to help the Cavaliers make this a 2-1 series, but the King showed why he still deserves his crown.

LeBron put up a double-double of 32 points and 11 rebounds in 40 minutes of play, which also included 2 blocks, a steal and 6 assists. He was the motor that never stopped, the heart of this team which kept pumping.

He even hit a three, which is something that looked near impossible for days on end there. I bet LeBron took a sip out of whatever fountain of youth Richard Jefferson is using and looked just like his old self. The one who wrecks havoc on defense and slams it home on offense. That’s why he gets my Star of the Harwood.

MAX: In their pregame huddle, LeBron implored the Cavaliers to follow his lead and do their jobs.

Kyrie may have started things in Game 3 with his 16-point first quarter, but LeBron ended them.

The Cavaliers desperately needed to win this first game on their home court and there are few other players, none maybe, you’d trust more than LeBron in a do-or-die situation. He looked determined from the National Anthem, ripping his warmup off and unleashing a yell.

He also got his jumpshot back. The Warriors had been daring him to hit midrange jumpers, playing back and protecting the paint. He rose to that challenge in Game 3 and finished 14-26 from the floor and even making a three-pointer. His improved shooting forced the Warriors to cover him tighter and that opened up his lethal drive-and-kick game.

Most impressive? After a whistle, an out-of-rhythm-all-night Steph Curry went in for a lay-up and LeBron emphatically told him “not in my house.”

If that doesn’t show you how much LeBron wanted this game, nothing will. He was the Star of the Hardwood.

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