Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers fell 110-102 to the Kevin Durant-led Warriors Wednesday in Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Down 3-0, the Cavs face elimination Friday in Game 4 at the Q.

1. The odds are not with the Cavs. Thirteen previous teams have won the first three games of the Finals and all have gone on to win the championship. Eight of those 13 have swept, with the most recent being the Spurs over LeBron James and the Cavs in 2007. The defending champion Warriors are the first team to go up 3-0 in back-to-back Finals.

2. A year ago, when the series went five games, the Cavs beat the Warriors 137-116 in Game 4 after a heartbreaking loss in Game 3. In 2017, Durant hit the dagger 3 after Kyle Korver missed a corner 3. Déjà vu struck with 49.8 seconds left Wednesday when Durant drained a 33-foot pullup to put the Warriors ahead by six.

3. “That wasn't the same shot. The one he made tonight was about four or five feet behind the one he made last year,” LeBron James said. “Same wing, different location.”

4. ESPN Stats & Info provided an amazing stat on Durant: He’d never made more than one shot over 30-feet in any game – including the regular season -- before Wednesday, when he hit four. According to #SCFacts (SportsCenter Facts), Durant made more 30-foot 3s than any team had made in a game in the last 20 postseasons.

5. Durant finished with 43 points, hitting 15 of 23 field goals, 6 of 9 3s and 7 of 7 free throws, along with 13 rebounds, seven assists and a steal in just over 43 minutes.

6. Michael Beaven of the Akron Beacon Journal will have more on the biggest game of Durant’s career on Ohio.com, while Chris Beaven of the Canton Repository writes on the Cavs’ Rodney Hood making the most of the second chance he was given by coach Tyronn Lue.

7. On to the bigger picture. Kevin Love brought it up first. It had been an unspoken train of thought – or perhaps an unspoken train of fear – going into this Finals, especially since the Cavs traded away Kyrie Irving in August.

8. Going against a team with four All-Stars, three of them the best shooters in the game, foes must play a near-perfect game to win. The Cavs saw that validated with heartbreaking losses in Games 1 and 3.
9. The margin of error is very low. It's almost like playing the Patriots, you can't have mistakes,” James said. “They're not going to beat themselves. You know, so when you're able to either force a miscue on them, you have to be able to capitalize and you have to be so in tuned and razor sharp and focused every single possession. You can't have miscommunication, you can't have flaws, you can't have ‘my faults’ or ‘my bads’ or things like that, because they're going to make you pay.

10. “When they make you pay, it's a 3-0 or 6-0 or 9-0 run, and it comes in bunches. The room for error, you just can't have it. We know throughout the course of a 48-minute game there are going to be plays where, you know, it was a miscue there, it was a miscue there. But for the most part throughout 48 minutes you just can't have a bunch of those, not especially against this team.”

11. Love started the conversation while pointing out some of the things that went right for the Cavs.

12. “I just think the margin of error against them is so little,” Love said. “I think that we fought very hard. Our schemes have been there. I know that K.D. had one of his games that will go on his highlight reel and one that was incredible even by his standards. Then we forced two other juggernauts in Klay (Thompson) and Steph (Curry) into some very tough shots, and both guys didn't have the greatest games. So we gave ourselves a chance, same thing in Game 1. That margin for error is so thin and so little against them that in some cases you almost have to be perfect.”

13. Knowing that brings an inherent pressure. James compares the Cavs’ four consecutive meetings against the Warriors in the Finals to his battles with the Spurs for the 2013 and ’14 championships when he was with the Miami Heat. The Heat won the title in 2013 and lost the next time to a coach Gregg Popovich-directed team that featured All-Stars in Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobli.

14. “You just knew that they wouldn't beat themselves,” James said of the Spurs. “You just knew if you made a mistake, Manu, Tim, Tony, Pop will make you pay. At times they did make us pay, and then you sprinkle in what Gary Neal did to us one game (in 2013), what Danny Green did to us one game, then Kawhi, you could never relax.

15. “When you have great basketball players (who) can also think the game and be very cerebral about the game, that's what adds the level of stress, because you know that you can never, ever relax. And you should never want to relax. It's the Finals. It's the playoffs. Even (if) this is a regular season game, you should always want to be on your toes. That's what the part of competition is about. So it adds to the level of stress.

16. “When you have Timmy D. and Manu and Kawhi and Manu, and now Draymond and Klay, Steph and K.D., and then you sprinkle in (Andre) Iguodala and (Shaun) Livingston and all those guys as well, it adds a level of stress. Because you know that you can never relax. You know if you relax, they make you pay, and making you pay could cost you a game. So it's tough, but it's all part of the competition, which I love and (why) I continue to lace them up every night.”

17. Counting 2007, James went 1-2 in his career against the Spurs and is on the verge of going 1-3 against the Warriors. Some might see that as a blotch on his legacy, but it shouldn’t be, not when he’s reaching the Finals against two dynasties with a collection of talent few could match on any given night. Popovich has won five championships with the Spurs starting in 1999; the Warriors could wrap up their third in four years on Friday.

18. Since Durant left the Thunder and signed with the Warriors on July 7, 2016, Golden State has gone 4-1 against James and the Cavs in the regular season and 7-1 against them in the Finals.

19. Patriots coach Bill Belichick might be jealous of that kind of impact player added to a team already loaded with talent.

20. James notched his 10th career triple-double in the Finals, a league record, with 33 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in 47 minutes. It was his 110th playoff game with 30 or more points, passing Michael Jordan (109) for first. He logged his 10,000th playoff minute, becoming the first in history to reach that standard. Appearing in his 238th playoff game, he passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who attended the game) for fourth on the all-time list.

21. James tweaked his right ankle with 71/2 minutes left in the second quarter. It was the same leg/ankle that teammate Larry Nance Jr. hit in Game 6 against the Celtics.

22. “I twisted it pretty good, but I'll be in the lineup on Friday,” James vowed.

23. The Cavs had a 47-37 rebounding edge and a 58-54 advantage in points in the paint, but the Warriors hit 18 of 21 uncontested field goals within 3 feet of the basket, the most makes and attempts this postseason, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

24. There was a sense that the game started to get away from the Cavs in the final 4:06 of the second quarter, when the Warriors cut a 13-point Cavs lead to six at the half.

25. But the turning point came when the Warriors started the third quarter with a 17-6 run to go ahead 69-64. The Warriors were the best third quarter team in the league all season and had outscored opponents by 133 in that period in the playoffs. The Warriors were plus-3 against the Cavs in the first two games, but outscored them by eight in Game 3.

26. “I thought we played a good first half. They're going to make runs. That's what this team does,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “In the third quarter I think transition hurt us because we took a couple bad shots and they got up early in transition. We've been doing pretty good in the third quarter, but tonight we weren't that good.”

27. The Cavs didn’t play a 48-minute game, but may have come up with the best they had to offer could give considering the struggles of those around James all season. To some it seemed as disappointing as the crazy Game 1 loss.

28. “They're all disappointing,” Lue said. “But we played well. They made some runs. We made some runs, and K.D. had an exceptional night. But I thought our guys did a great job of fighting and sticking to the game plan outside of a couple breakdowns here and there. But like I said, to hold Steph to 11 and Klay to 10, we did a good job in that regard. But we've got to do a better job on K.D.”

29. J.R. Smith, the goat of Game 1, thought Game 3 hurt more.

30. “I think this one hurts more because it was at home,” Smith said. “We had a lot of lapses on the defensive end trying to switch and guys getting layups and dunks. I think my guy had three or four of those. This one takes the cake, for sure.”

31. Adding to that were the performances of Thompson, who went 4 of 11 from the field, and Curry, 3 of 16, 1 of 10 from long range.

32. “It’s tough because that is what you pray for, guys missing like that,” Smith said. “Playing great defense, getting offensive rebounds and loose balls -- and they have a 7-2 guard out there cooking.” Durant is listed as 6-foot-9, but many consider him a 7-footer.

33. But Smith didn’t sound ready to give in.

34. “We’re still in the NBA Finals. We still have to have that enthusiasm, trust and belief that we can get this thing done,” Smith said. “If we don’t, then don’t come to practice tomorrow.”

35. Holding down Curry and Thompson was also frustrating for the Cavs’ Tristan Thompson.

36. “Most definitely. Especially going into the fourth, I think Steph was (1 for 11). To be able to take those guys and make it frustrating for them through three quarters, and then in the fourth quarter let them get comfortable and get 3 and layups, it’s definitely frustrating. We put it together for three quarters. In the fourth quarter, we missed the boat.”

37. Thompson said the Cavs will keep fighting in Game 4, but it may be tough to rally the troops. A sweep feels almost inevitable.

38. “It’s the first team to four wins, right? We’re on our home floor. For ourselves and for our fans, we’ve got to go out there and give everything we’ve got. And if we can do that, guys can look in the mirror and live with themselves,” Thompson said. “But at the end of the day, it’s about leaving it all on the line and having no regrets.”

39. Love said it was impossible not to think the Cavs would be in a better position if they still had Irving, even though two knee surgeries ended his first Celtics season in March.

40. “I think it's only natural to think about, especially looking at Swish and Tristan and LeBron and myself and the guys that have come and gone from our 2016 team and what we were able to do to overcome a 3-1 deficit, and how we were able to win those games,” Love said, referring to the Cavs’ 2016 championship. “That's human nature to think about that kind of a thing. But there's been a lot of overhaul on this roster. But we've been resilient. We've played in a couple Game 7s, and now we just have to come out Friday and shoot our shot and, like I said, not give in.”

41. The next 48 hours will bring a deluge of speculation on the future of James, expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent in July. Friday could be his home game at Quicken Loans Arena, last game as a Cavalier.

42. But when asked how tough it would be not to think about how the Cavs let Games 1 and 3 get away and what’s in store for him this summer, James wouldn’t go there.

43. “For me, tonight will be tough. Tomorrow I'll replay some plays and some moments and things of that nature,” he said. “When I wake up Friday morning I'll be locked in on the game plan of what needs to be done to help our team win. That's just who I am.”

44. I’ll be doing Facebook Live at 3:15 p.m. today after the Cavs and Warriors conclude interviews for Game 4. Use the hashtag #cavsmarla to ask questions.