LeBron James fails Cavaliers in crushing loss to Warriors

CLEVELAND, June 7 (Reuters) - LeBron James and Kyrie Irving delivered a masterclass effort in Game Three of the NBA Finals on Wednesday but it was still not enough to carry the Cleveland Cavaliers past the juggernaut that are the Golden State Warriors.

James and Irving combined for 77 points but their efforts went for naught as the late-game collapse by the defending champion Cavaliers left them trailing the best-of-seven NBA Finals 3-0.

"I gave everything I had tonight," James told reporters after the 118-113 loss. "It's probably the most, most firepower I've played in my career. I played against some great teams, but I don't think no team has had this type of firepower."

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NBA Finals - Game 3: Cavs fall to Warriors
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NBA Finals - Game 3: Cavs fall to Warriors
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 07: Cleveland Cavaliers fans gather outside of The Quicken Loans Arena to watch Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors on June 7, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland, the defending NBA Champions, trails Golden State 3-0 in the best of seven series. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
Jun 7, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates after making a three-point basket during the fourth quarter in game three of the 2017 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) lays on the court during the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game three of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 07: Cleveland Cavaliers fans gather outside of The Quicken Loans Arena to watch Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors on June 7, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland, the defending NBA Champions, trails Golden State 3-0 in the best of seven series. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
Jun 7, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) rebounds as Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee (1) looks on during the third quarter in game three of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Golden State Warriors forward David West (3) dunks the ball against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) during the fourth quarter in game three of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee (1) and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) go for a loose ball during the first quarter in game three of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with teammates during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game three of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) and Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia (27) go for the opening tip in game three of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 07: JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers grabs a rebound in the second half against the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 7, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kyle Terada - Pool/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 07: Cleveland Cavaliers fans gather outside of The Quicken Loans Arena to watch Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors on June 7, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland, the defending NBA Champions, trails Golden State 3-0 in the best of seven series. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
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The top-seeded and undefeated Warriors, who can close out a perfect postseason run on Friday, boast a slew of weapons, most notably two-time reigning league MVP Stephen Curry and four-times scoring champion Kevin Durant.

Cleveland, who suffered a pair of lopsided losses to open the series, looked like they were about to finally beat the Warriors after leading the game for much of the second half.

But the Warriors had other plans, especially Durant as he led his team on an incredible 11-0 run over the final three minutes, including a crushing three-pointer with 45 seconds to play that put his Golden State ahead for good.

SEE MORE: J.R. Smith makes bold prediction after crushing loss

"He was their closer tonight, for sure. Doing what he is supposed to be doing," said Irving. "I mean, just hits an unbelievable game winner, just comes down in transition, that only Kevin Durant can hit."

James has defied the odds before, perhaps most impressively last year against Golden State when his Cavaliers were the first team to win a title after trailing the Finals 3-1.

But coming back from 3-0 deficit against an even more talented Warriors team than the one they needed seven games to beat last year is a different story.

James knows his team have to play a perfect game on Friday or else they will be on the wrong end of a historic playoff run.

"Even when you're playing well, you got to play like A plus plus, because they're going to make runs and they're going to make shots and they got guys that's going to make plays," said James.

"So we made enough plays tonight to still win the ball game, but they made a couple more." (Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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