LeBron James praises Kevin Durant while throwing shade at the Trail Blazers

Kevin Durant

LeBron James, frustrated as he may be down 3-0, was not surprised by Kevin Durant ripping the Cavs hearts out in Game 3 of the Finals for the second consecutive season.

Durant's performances in the first two games of the series were overshadowed a bit otherworldly performances by LeBron James (51 points in Game 1) and Stephen Curry (Finals-record nine 3s in Game 2), but he's been absolutely superb. Frankly it was a good problem to have as he's averaged * a href="http://stats.nba.com/players/isolation/?CF=PlayerFirstName*E*kev" *1.01 points per possession on isolations and * a href="http://stats.nba.com/players/playtype-post-up/?CF=PlayerFirstName*E*kev" *1.10 points points per possession on post-ups in the playoffs.

Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James was impressive again, finishing with 33 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds, but it proved to be not enough for the Cavaliers to pull off the victory. According to data from NBA Advanced Stats and Sportsradar's shot difficulty model that takes into account specific information about the shooters, defenders, shot location, distance to defenders and actions prior to the shot, Durant scored 16 more points than expected, given his shot selection.

Although history favors the Warriors after winning Game 3, Durant knows that the team still has more work to do in the next game. Klay Thompson's father commented on 95.7 The Game earlier this week that the shooting guard would like to play his whole career in Golden State, but he expects negotiations on a new contract to extend into summer.

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The Warriors were undoubtedly bolstered by the return of Andre Iguodala in Game 3.

Golden State now leads these Finals 3-0.

Houston, the only team to play the Warriors tough since Durant got to Golden State, could be a much different team next season.

In Durant's one season at Texas, he was named the National College Player of the Year, and the Longhorns reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.

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