Game 3 of the NBA Finals finally made the Warriors’ dominance enjoyable

There are no moral victories in the NBA Finals. There is no condolence possible for a Cavaliers team who gave it their all just to lose to a better team in heartbreaking fashion at home. There’s little hope in being down 0-3 in the series. And there’s just no way to make the pain of Kevin Durant strolling down the court for a three-point dagger any less painful.

Yet for all non-partisans, Game 3 was everything the playoffs and Finals were supposed to be. For the first time in weeks, there was pressure on the Warriors. For the first time in weeks, we saw them meet that pressure at full strength and rise above it.

It’s been an open secret that Golden State would win the 2017 NBA title. They’re such a powerful team, with so many weapons, that even LeBron James going into his traditional all-conquering mode would feel futile. The predictable outcome hasn’t felt hollow.

It’s more that the Warriors were never truly tested in their 14 playoff games before Game 3. There was no conflict to their march to the ring. The best team in the league hardly ever had to leave second gear in order to win by enormous margins, and that’s just a boring as hell story

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