That basket was noticeably similar to the 3-pointer Durant knocked down over James in Game 3 of the 2017 Finals with 45 seconds left to give the Warriors a one-point edge and a 3-0 series lead.
"No, that wasn't the same shot", James said when asked to compare Durant's 3 to last year's. A year ago, his shot from a bit closer - 26 feet, officially - put the Warriors ahead to stay in what became a five-point win.
They were big plays from someone who couldn't be more comfortable on this stage. Tonight they're up 3. Now we'll see if they can stack up against the Golden State Warriors' juggernaut.
"But you definitely tip your hat".
"When you're down like this, in a deficit like this versus a team like this, there's no good feeling", James said following practice Tuesday.
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. "That was fantastic what he did out there tonight", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Durant postgame.
So, pray tell, how exactly do the Cavaliers try to limit a team that has one of the most-potent offenses in recent league history? "But his one-on one ability really saved them again tonight".
He was the 2015 NBA Finals MVP when the Warriors outlasted the Cavaliers in six games.
Kevin Love doubled-up for the third time in three games - netting 15 of his 20 points before half, going 6-of-13 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from long-distance and 5-of-5 from the stripe, adding a team-high 13 boards, three assists and a steal. A lot of people think of toughness and they think bravado.
The Warriors are the 14th team to go up 3-0 in the Finals. But he's not going anywhere, even mentally, until this series is over.
LeBron James refuses to go silently in the NBA Finals. Instead of comparing himself to other players, he went into the deal thinking about the upsides it offered: how he'd be able to do what he loves, for example, and support the people he loves. From that moment on, Kerr said he made things easier for everyone around him - except the Cavaliers. "So, it's tough, but it's all part of the competition, which I love and which I continue to lace them up [for] every night".
During the regular season, James was remarkably consistent regardless of where he played. "It's what you've got and how you take care of it".
If the Cavaliers can't beat the Warriors on a night their shooters are this off... it's a bad sign.
"Early on, it was trying to figure out how it would hold up and how it would react to certain cuts", Iguodala said. "It's the first team to four wins, right? When he has got it going, it's nearly impossible to stop". "And if we can do that, guys can look in the mirror and live with themselves".
Cavs guard Rodney Hood, who was acquired in a mid-season trade from the Utah Jazz, was inserted into Game 3 by Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue and Hood delivered, scoring multiple tough buckets to keep the Cavs in touch.
"We're still in the NBA Finals", Smith said. When you get your opportunities, be disciplined in your work and trust in your work.