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Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant dribbles in the first half of Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wednesday, June 6, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Finals finished

It's a wrap. J.R. Smith ruined the chances of a great series with his Game 1 blunder.

And Kevin Durant made sure there was no doubt.

Durant was an absolute killer in Game 3, dropping 43 on just 23 shots. He was consistently amazing and amazingly consistent.

In truth, Durant's brilliance was the reason that the Warriors needed him and the reason people wonder if the Warriors have spoiled the NBA.

Consider this: Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were a combined 7-of-27 from the floor and scored 21 points. They were outscored by J.R. Smith and Rodney Hood.

That was a formula to beat the Warriors. Heck, that should be the formula to beat these Warriors, but Durant simply would not let this game get away. 

And as much as everyone is hashing and rehashing the 30-footer Durant hit that theoretically ended the series late in Wednesday's fourth quarter, the difference in Game 3 was Durant's first half  masterpiece.

Curry was terrible. Drayman Green was frustrated. Each had three first-half fouls.

On the other side, Kevin Love was making shots. LeBron James had 14 points and eight assists before the intermission. The Cavs fringe players were playing well, and Hood's production made all of us wonder what in the heck was Tyrann Lue thinking by not playing him in the first two games.

In short, the Cavs should have led by 15 (at least) heading into the second half. Durant kept the Warriors close and the crowd on edge and made all the difference.

So wrap this puppy. And in truth, we all kind of knew it was going to go this way. Maybe not a sweep.  

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Cleveland Cavaliers' J.R. Smith, left, shoots as his teammate LeBron James watches during an NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. The Cavaliers face the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday in Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


Lingering Finals thoughts and questions

There have been nine 30-point triple doubles in NBA Finals history. LeBron has five of them.

James now has 110 career 30-point NBA playoff games, more than Jordan.

If anyone followed along with the NBA referee watch party on social media, please share your thoughts.

Never understood the argument that losses in Finals or Super Bowls work against anyone's legacy. If that's the argument, are you saying it would have been better for James to lose to Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals? Makes little sense to me.

Who wins if Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green actually dropped gloves?

The "Uncle Drew" movie, will it be friend or foe?

Should KD leave and win a title somewhere else?

How bad will Cleveland be when LeBron leaves?

And speaking of that, what about LeBron and KD teaming up? Would a LeBron and KD tandem just about anywhere be the NBA favorite next year?

Questions and comments welcome now that the Warriors have won the NBA Finals 3-0.

Best nickname ever?

Sure there are a lot of great nicknames, including The Greatest.

There are magical nicknames, including Magic.

And oh papa, there are cool nicknames, like Cool Papa.

But here's saying there will never be a more accurate nickname than Floyd "Money" Mayweather.

Forbes magazine released its list of the athletes who made the most money in the last year. (From June 1 to June 1.)

There were three athletes who made more than $100 million with soccer legends Messi ($111 million) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($108 million) ranking second and third respectively.

As for Money? Yeah he made more than those two combined. Taking in $285 million, with all but $10 million of that coming on one night last spring.

As for the new found home of high rewards? Well, there are 40 NBA players — led by LeBron James at $85.5 million to place No. 6 — on the list. Yes that did surprise me.

One other thing to note, here are the top five in money made in endorsements:

Roger Federer: $77.2 million total ($65 million in endorsements)

James: $85.5 million total ($52 million in endorsements)

Ronaldo: $108 million total ($47 million in endorsements)

Steph Curry: $76.9 million total ($42 million in endorsements)

Tiger Woods: $43.3 million total ($42 million in endorsements)

This and that

— Kyler Murray is not the only transfer college quarterback who got picked in the MLB draft. Shae Patterson, the former Ole Miss and current Michigan QB, got selected in round 39 by the Rangers. Here's betting the Wolverines are far less worried about this altering Patterson's immediate plans.

— Here's the next entry in honesty may be the best policy, but it can be really painful. Kate Wynja of Sioux Falls Christian won the Class A golf tournament by several shots. But she put down a 4 rather than a 5 for her final hole and signed the inaccurate card. She got DQed after informing officials and it cost her the individual title and her school the team title. Ouch.

— Kathy Griffin, of all people, saying anyone is "all talk" his the height of irony. Truth be told, if I never hear anything else about Kathy Griffin, it sill will be too soon. What a piece of work.

— Speaking of self-important gas bags who hopefully are on minute 14 of their 15-minute stint in the spotlight, here's more on Samantha Bee and her latest apology non-apology. And yes, you know celebs truly know they made a monstrous blunder when they try to blame the media.

— Braves lost two of three to the Padres. The reason? Baseball.

— Here's an interesting chat session with Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian, who may have the hottest seat in the NFL this fall. 

Today's questions

Tons of NBA questions to digest. Feel free to offer any of your views.

Also, if you have mailbag entries, fire away.

As for today, June 7, let's explore:

On this day in 1965, the Supreme Court legalized the use of contraception. The case was Griswold v. Connecticut, and we're certain there was no mention of Wally World or the Family Truckster.

On this day in 1975, Sony introduced the Betamax videocassette recorder to the public. Is there any way we can explain to future generations how much fun going to the Blockbuster used to be? I don't think so.

On this day a year ago five bald men were killed in Mozambique because people thought there was gold in their heads.

Robert the Bruce died on this day in 1329.

Tom Jones is 78 today. Prince would have been 60 today. Anna Kournikova is 37 today. Mike Pence is 59. (Yes Prince was older than Mike Pence. That's kind of shocking right?)

Liam Neeson is 66. And Allen Iverson is 43.

In honor of The Answer, Rushmore of best NBA players 6-feet and under.

Go.

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