The 30-year-old guard was widely thought to be the frontrunner for the award this year prior to Game 3, but Durant's performance combined with Curry's no-show has made it a legitimate conversation.
James, meanwhile, had 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
"Obviously, from a talent perspective, if you're looking at Golden State from their top five best players to our top five players, you would say they're stacked better than us".
"It's a big difference", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said when asked to compare the pre- and post-Durant Warriors. "Some of those shots, I don't think anybody in the world can hit those but him".
"We've had an opportunity to win two of these games in this series and we haven't come up with it", James said.
"If my shots were there I just took them patiently and with poise", Durant said.
They played well enough to win this game, but bad defensive execution down the stretch and Kevin Durant proved too much for Cleveland to overcome.
As disappointing as it is to admit, it's starting to become evident that the Cleveland Cavaliers' season is going to most likely end in another NBA Finals defeat at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.
LeBron James made a great play in the first half, throwing the ball of the glass to himself for a massive two-handed dunk.
The series shifts to Cleveland for the first time in Game 3.
"Now everyone is trying to figure that out", James said Thursday. Some of them are the first in their families to go to college.
He can put the Warriors in position for a huge road win, and Curry - the best shooter in the world - can suddenly wake up, make a layup to give the Warriors a 98-97 lead with 2:58 remaining and follow with a 31-foot 3-pointer to increase the advantage to four.
"You can never count out a champion, no matter what's going on in the course of their season", Cleveland star LeBronJames said, lauding the Warriors.
And just like past year, he drilled it.
Despite the magnitude of his 3-pointer, Durant acted like he had been there before, bypassing a celebration for a stone face.
But the four-time MVP did have one consolation to take away from the game as he was able to make history yet again and add another impressive milestone to his collection. Previous year we were up 2, and he pulled up pretty much right at the three-point line and got a great contest, but he made it.
Don't overlook Draymond Green, "arguably one of the best defenders and minds in our game".
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