"It was a good time. If I miss, we could have got another stop".
Durant, though, was not going to be denied. That go-ahead shot helped close out a pivotal 118-113 victory at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday.
The Warriors won 119-113 to take a 3-0 series lead.
Kevin Durant - who once was called a guy who couldn't win the big one - scored seven critical points late in the game to give the Warriors the win.
Durant's shot wasn't the dagger. No team has blown a 3-0 lead in the National Basketball Association.
Golden State finished the first quarter with a Finals record nine three-pointers and led by six at halftime.
Cleveland - They're living in the Land of Make Believe now. That's even more impressive.
Cleveland, who suffered a pair of lopsided losses to open the series, looked like they were about to finally beat the Warriors after leading the game for much of the second half.
No team has ever recovered from a 3-0 deficit to win an NBA playoff series in 126 attempts, although no club had rallied from 3-1 down in the NBA Finals until the Cavs did it a year ago to defeat the Warriors.
Irving took a step-back jumper from the right wing - the same spot he hit his notorious victor in Game 7 past year - with 26.5 seconds left and the Cavs down by one. They can make that visiting locker room smell like Champagne again.
He played the role of the third Splash Brother in this one. And when LeBron James isn't in the game, you may well be over-matched, but you can't let that many points come off the board.
That started in the first half, when Golden State knocked down 60 percent of its 3-pointers. But protecting the lead meant leaving Irving on the floor for the entire second half and James for all but a few seconds of it, and on the other bench Steve Kerr kept reminding his deeper Warriors that the Cavaliers were going to get exhausted.
"I said it after we won the Eastern Conference Finals that we're getting ready for a juggernaut", James recalled after Wednesday's loss. "We don't want to take the long 3s and things like that". He didn't even go in there when the game ended.
"We had some really good looks", James said.
Durant then drilled a 28-footer to cut that lead to 104-102. Thompson did the same a few minutes later to keep that lead at one. Every time the Cavs threatened to pull away in the fourth quarter, Golden State made the big shot when it mattered in the clutch.
"On me, personally. I mean, obviously, it's physically and emotionally draining because I give everything to the game and want to put myself and my teammates in a position to be successful", he said. "It was a lot of fun to watch when we were in those possessions, just the patience and composure that we had".
Curry hit a layup and after both James and Irving missed for the Cavs, Durant dropped his 3 - a shot that could be the one most remembered in this magnificent run by the Warriors.
Durant, often matched up with James, finished the first quarter with eight points to James' 16.
"You can tell he knows this is his moment", Kerr said. "He knows this is his moment". "He's been an awesome player in this league for a long time, and I think he senses this is his time, his moment". He delivered another performance that reminded everyone he remains the NBA's best player.
The Warriors are one win away from a second title in three years.