Chasing a Championship: Warriors lose Game 3, 96-91

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23), right, drives on Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the first half of Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals in Cleveland, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND (KRON/AP) — The Warriors have lost Game 3 of the NBA Championship, 96-91.

They are now down in the series 2-1.

UPDATE 8:15 p.m. Steve Kerr told his team they were too good to hang their heads. And they didn’t.

With a big surge to open the fourth quarter, the Warriors are back in the game.

Down 20 points late in the third, the Warriors opened the fourth with eight straight to trim Cleveland’s lead into single digits, and had it down to a three-point deficit with more than 5 minutes to play.

They are making the run with bench contributions from Andre Iguodala, Leandro Barbosa and David Lee.

Lee hadn’t even played in the first two games of the series.

UPDATE 8 p.m.

At the end of the third quarter, the Warriors are down 72-55.

The Cavaliers are clamping down on the high-scoring Warriors and appear to be rolling toward a 2-1 lead.

With LeBron James scoring 13 points in the period, the Cavaliers extended their lead to 72-55 over the Warriors after three quarters.

Cleveland opened a 20-point lead at one point after a 12-0 run. James has 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Matthew Dellavedova has 15 points and is outplaying MVP Stephen Curry, who has only 10.

The league-best Warriors are shooting just 35 percent.

UPDATE 7:47 p.m.

Steve Kerr is not liking the body language he’s seeing from the Golden State Warriors, as they face a big deficit late in the third quarter.

“Get your heads up,” Kerr said during a time-out. “Every possession matters. Shoot with confidence.”

Later in the same clip aired on ABC, Kerr got animated.

“We’re too good to play like this,” he shouted. “We’re too good to hang our heads. All right? Let’s go!”

UPDATE 7:34 p.m.

If Stephen Curry is worried about his shot, you couldn’t tell from his halftime itinerary.

Rather than come out early for some extra work, Curry didn’t come back onto the floor until there were under 2 minutes remaining in the break. He then attempted just two shots before heading to the Warriors’ bench.

He was only 1 for 6 in the first half following his 5-for-23 performance in Game 2. He is 3 of 19 behind the 3-point arc over the last two games.

It was Matthew Dellavedova getting off early in the third quarter, not Curry, helping Cleveland extended its lead.

7:23 p.m.

Thirty-seven points.

That’s a season-low in first-half scoring for Golden State, which averages 56 first-half points per game .

But the concerns probably run deeper than that for the Warriors – the first three games of the finals are the first time all season that Golden State has been under 50 points at the break in back-to-back-to-back games.

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.
At the end of the first half, the Warriors are down 44-37.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are halfway to their first NBA Finals home victory.

Cleveland leads Golden State 44-37 at halftime of Game 3, behind LeBron James’ 13 points and nine rebounds. The Cavaliers are again playing stellar defense, holding the Warriors to 34 percent shooting and again shutting down Stephen Curry.

The league MVP made his first shot, a 3-pointer, then missed his final five attempts. He was 5 for 23 in Game 2.

Game 3 has often been a pivotal one in the finals, with the team winning it when the series was tied 1-1 going on to win the championship 31 of 37 times.

UPDATE 6:58 p.m.

Iman Shumpert has returned to the game with 5:31 to play in the first half wearing black sleeves under his jersey.

Shumpert went to the locker room in the first quarter with a shoulder injury, hit in the same shoulder that he had dislocated earlier this season, causing him to miss six weeks.

The Cavs couldn’t afford another injury, especially with reserve James Jones picking up three fouls by early in the period.

For the Warriors, David Lee is getting his first playing time of the season. The former All-Star had fallen out of the rotation, but with the Warriors struggling to rebound, coach Steve Kerr is giving him a chance.

UPDATE 6:38 p.m.

At the end of the first quarter, the Warriors are down 24-20.

The Cavaliers may have the lead but they also have another player who was potentially injured in the first quarter.

Cleveland leads 24-20 behind six points apiece from LeBron James and Tristan Thompson. But Iman Shumpert went to the locker room with a few minutes left in the period with an injured left shoulder after running into Draymond Green on a pick.

Shumpert missed six weeks with a dislocated left shoulder earlier this season.

Stephen Curry made his first shot, a 3-pointer, but missed his final four attempts for the Warriors.

UPDATE 6:32 p.m.

Iman Shumpert has gone to the locker room with an apparent shoulder injury for the already short-handed Cavaliers.

Shumpert was hurt after running into a pick set by Golden State’s Draymond Green in the first quarter. Shumpert arrived in Cleveland in January still rehabbing a shoulder injury from his time with the Knicks.

The Cavaliers have only been using eight players while playing without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.

UPDATE 6:27 p.m.

Stephen Curry made his first 3-point attempt after a miserable Game 2, but otherwise everything was going Cleveland’s way early in Game 3.

LeBron James was attacking the rim and Matthew Dellavedova followed his strong finish with a good start in this one, his second basket of the game sending the Warriors into a timeout with chants of “Delly! Delly!” once again filling parts of Quicken Loans Arena.

Curry was 5 of 23 overall and 2 for 15 in the Warriors’ overtime loss on Sunday night.

UPDATE 5:59 p.m.
The Warriors say Klay Thompson is just fine and ready to go for Game 3.

The All-Star guard was seen getting off the team bus Monday night with a heavily wrapped left knee.

Thompson later assured reporters the he is indeed OK.

As a crowd of cameras surrounded him in the Golden State locker room before the game, Thompson lay on the floor as a team trainer worked on his legs and midsection. When asked about it, Thompson said it was nothing more than a deep-tissue warmup exercise.

“Just an easy way to get loose quick,” Thompson said.

UPDATE 5:35 p.m.

Golden State’s biggest star, well its cutest one, has arrived.

Riley Curry, the adorable 2-year-old daughter of Warriors guard Stephen Curry, walked into Quicken Loans Arena along with her grandparents about an hour before Game 3 started.

The youngster has stolen the show from her famous daddy by hamming it up during his postgame interview sessions throughout the playoffs.

5:30 p.m.

Steve Kerr smiles a lot during NBA Finals press conferences. Even laughs a few times. Quite unlike Gregg Popovich, the Spurs coach who usually can’t wait to get his media duties over.

So, Kerr was asked before Game 3, how does he describe the difference from his former coach?

“He’s maybe the greatest coach of all-time. Certainly top three. I’m not. I think I’m fourth,” Kerr said. “But other than that, Pop’s my guy. He’s one of my mentors, along with Lute Olson, Phil Jackson, and I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from Pop, a lot of knowledge. And one thing Pop always told me, especially when I took this job, is be yourself.

“This is my nature. I’m pretty relaxed. It’s a basketball game. Try to keep a healthy perspective about life, but you better believe I want to win.”

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