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A running diary of the glorious, heartbreaking mess that was game 3

I watched game 3. I took a bunch of notes. So many emotions.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

After watching games one and two on my buddy Ryan's rooftop, I switched things up and posted in a small dive bar near my house that I will never, no never, name outright. It's my secret spot. The place where I can go to escape the madness of this world.

Just me and the two or three regulars. One TV. A gun rack made out of deer hooves with a rifle up on it. Maybe loaded.

I am the only person who hangs out there under the age of 35, and most of the patrons tend towards 50 or 60.

Soon, three other people came in. The first was Judy, a sometimes-bartender who is the girlfriend/wife of the bar's owner Bobby. The second was a late thirty-something regular who works in Williamsburg as a club manager and tells horrid stories about today's youth. Lastly, another man who I'd met a few times who works on train tracks strolled in. He's Queens through and through. Gruff laugh, huge arms, an old dirty union t-shirt. Drinking jack on the rocks, getting funnier and louder as the night went on. It was just us, along with the bartender, a woman in her fifties who has a beautiful smile.

Anyways, here are the notes I took. It's a running diary of sorts.

What a goddamn game.

Note, there's a lot of NSFW language ahead, so read on at your own caution.

--- = ---


The Cleveland crowd boos the Warriors, wildly cheers the Cavaliers.

Rascal Flats gets up to sing the national anthem. "Oh, Jesus," exclaims the club manager, sitting in the corner nursing a budweiser bottle. "I fucking hate these guys."

"Yeah, I don't really know too much about 'em."

They get done with the anthem.

"Man, honestly, that was a lot better than I thought it would be," I say.

"Eh. Fuck'em."

Everyone else goes out for a smoke and suddenly I'm alone in the bar. The beautiful solitude of a little known dive. Only the Dunkin Donuts comercial cuts the void. And it is slightly comforting, easing my anxiety. How will the Warriors come out?

Some mere five minutes until tip.

Judy comes back in the bar. "Man, what a day."


"Just got back from the fucking hospital."

"For your hip? You just had it replaced, right?"

"No. Not for that. Fucking Bobby had a heart thing. Went in there the other day, and one of the arteries was 90% clogged! Shit!"

"Whoa. What?"

"And then so they put the fucking stint in. We get home, you know everything is going good, and then just today, he starts having these goddamn chest pains again and so we go back to the fuckin hospital and this time the other arterie's got like 75 fucking percent clogging. So they put in another stint. Shit is crazy. He's staying over tonight cuz now his blood pressure is so low."



First Quarter

The game starts. Cavaliers win the tip.

"And being that Bobby 'aint around, shit, I was thinking I'll get some sushi. Cuz Bobby hates sushi and I aint had it in like five years!"

LeBron James looks locked in. I'm trying to listen to Judy's story while also watching the game. That sucks about Bobby, the bar owner. I hope he's okay Damn.

Stephen Curry hits a three. Alright here we go.

Tristan Thompson continues to win the battle of the boards.

The pace and energy of this game is incredible.


LeBron is at a different speed. He is a goddamn Greek Overlord.

Tristan Thompson has four boards already with 7:50 left in the first quarter.


LeBron is in a comedy about sex with Amy Shumer?! What?

7:10 - Curry misses wide open shot. --> LeBron dunk.

DRAYMOND GREEN offensive rebound.

James travel.

12 - 5 Cleveland lead. 6:12 left in the first.

Dray to the hole. AND 1! 12 - 8 Cleveland lead.

Iman Shumpert is hurt. Left forearm? He ran into a Draymond screen and is shaken up. Cleveland can't afford to lose him. He's headed to the locked room.

Judy, at the far end of the bar, is trying to set up a vaporizer for her nicotine addiction. After her hip surgery, the doctors told her she couldn't smoke anymore. So the guy who works on the train rails bought this vaporizer from one of his coworkers.

"They're all using it. They bring these great goddamn cartridges with em, you know. And I bought this one, the fucking top and the fucking bottom don't go together, right? The guy I's workin with told me they're not really supposed to go together, but, shit, all we need is a washer or something."

They're trying to figure out how to charge the thing, plugging it into a power jack at the end of the bar.

"Is it on? Is this how the, goddamit, wait, is it good?"

"Is the little light blinking?"

"No. No, I think it's, it's just solid. Whaddasthat mean?"

"Shit. I don't know. Leave it be for a minute and we'll see."

Mike Breen's voice cuts through, "James Jones is hit! And knocks down the three! Chance for a four point play!"

He hits the free throw. 22 - 16 Cleveland lead.

Festus Ezeli! He's very active.

Shaun Livingston whips a pass to Andre Iguodala, who throws it down!

They seem to have figured out the charging situation with the vaporizer in the corner.

"Fuck yeah!"

"You got it?"

"Fuck yeah! Technology! What the hell do they think? Or know! Yeah baby!"

The vaporizer still may or may not be charging but they are very excited.

"What part is the extension? Or the extender? Or what the fuck?"

"When all else fails, just read the fucking instructions."

24 second violation on Cleveland.


22 - 20 Cleveland lead.

--> Ezeli blocks Matthew Dellavedova!

Alright, shit.

24 - 20 Cleveland lead at the end of the first.


Second Quarter

10:34 Iggy three --> tie game!

My wife Kim shows up, bringing me some Pad Thai. She is the best. The regular who works at a club in Williamsburgh has left to go work at the club. It's just me, Judy, the train guy who is still tinkering with the vaporizer, Kim, and the bartender woman with the sweet smile.

J.R. Smith is hitting some crazy shots. 31 - 26 --> Time out Golden State.

8:15 - Bogut Block.

Klay blocked --> gets it back and puts it up and in.

31 - 28 Cleveland lead.

"Oh there he is!" says my wife Kim.

"Who?" I ask.

"The Coldplay guy!"

"What? Chris Martin?"

"Well, yeah, but not actually him. You know," she says, pointing at the screen.


"Wait, you think David Lee looks like Chris Martin from Coldplay?"

"Yeah, duh. Look at him."

To illustrate her point, she pulls up about four different pictures of Chris Martin on her phone. Honestly, I can kind of see it now.

"Yeah, see?" she says. "Just sayin!"

Outro music plays into commercial. It is some Coldplay song.

"See?? See?" says Kim, laughing, "Coldplay!! I told you. Damn, I don't even like this song."

Iguodala, running the almost-fucked fastbreak, somehow regains control and throws it down!

James Jones hits a three.


44 - 37 Cleveland lead.



"Steph looks hurt," my wife says. "Do you think he's still actually hurt from that fall he took?"

I just shake my head. I have no answers. Only sadness.

The Warriors have only 37 points.

Steph has three. He has hit one shot. One. Goddamn. Shot.

"He just looks weird," she says. "He looks lost. Like, he's too small to be running into these giant dudes all the time."

Third Quarter

I go to the bathroom. When I get back, the train man is jokingly berating my wife for taking too good care of me.

"Seriously! You show up, he stops writing as much. You bring him food and he can snuggle with you! Goddamn! What a world!"

I laugh as I walk past him to my seat.

"I'll say this much," he continues, "you stopped scibbling in that goddamn book as much once she showed up. Gotta get back to work! Write it up!"

10:00 - Dellavedova flips a runner up and in. First double digit lead of the night for Cleveland.

9:12 - Strange play --> Klay dunk

The Cavs are hitting everything and contesting everything.

Draymond picks up his fourth foul.



56 - 48 Cavs lead.

4:41 left in the 3rd - 61 - 48 Cavs lead.


LeBron is OWNING this moment.

I still believe that they can make this run but this goddamn game has been disgusting and slow so far.


Commercial break: "We're too good to play like this!! We are too good to hang our heads!!"


The fucking Warriors have 48 points with 3:47 left in the THIRD.



20 point game.

2:40 Steph three! 68 - 51 Cavs lead.


70 - 53.

Steph forces turnover.

1:06 Leandro Barbosa!

70 - 55.

Finally showing some signs of life.

Livingston takes his turn guarding LeBron.

End of 3rd.

Curry dunk negated.

Warriors have 55 POINTS!

What. The. Fuck.

Fourth Quarter

The crazy thing is I still somehow believe they can win.

The train man is still dicking around with the vaporizer. They have sort of gotten it to work but because the pieces don't fit together it is impossible to control the flow of smoke and they sit coughing out volumous clouds of vapor, laughing and drunkenly yelling at each other.

Barbosa block --> Iguodala!

72 - 57 Cavs

Dellavedova airball.

"Does Steph Curry always stand still so much?" Kim asks me. "It's like he's not moving around very well."

LeBron comes back in, looking like a goddamn future robot.

"Oh my God!" she says. "He is so scary. In a good way."

Klay Thompson for three!

72 - 60. Down 12.

Cavs turnover.

10:05 left.

Iggy three!


This is cruel.

David Blatt calls timeout.

The Warriors have been dead.



There's a little less than 10 minutes left and somehow they're only down nine.

Life continues.

Until LeBron crushes you.

Fuck fuck fuck.

David Lee AND ONE! Offensive foul on Mozgov.

74 - 66.


9:16 left.

WGBC!! Six point game!!

LeBron barrels in again, foul on David Lee.

Barbosa miss. LEE PUTBACK.

Five point game!

Steph! Step-back three! Four point game.

7:22 left!

James barrels to rim.

79 - 73.

Barbosa misses layup.

6:35 left.

James hits a last ditch three pointer from waaaay the fuck out.

Six point game.

6:18 - David Lee drives to the hoop and is fouled. Hits one of two free throws. 79 - 74.

Steph reverse layup!

Three point game!



Shumpert two missed free throws.

LeBron breakaway.

81 - 76. 4:08 left.

Judy and the train man and bartender are talking about living under bridges. Eating rats? A million dollars? I think they're talking about how much money it would take to eat a rat? "Shit man!" the train guy yells, "Give me a fucking bottle of Jack and I'll do that shit RIGHT NOW! Where are these goddamn rats?!"

David Lee is fouled. Hits one of two. Four point game. Three minutes left.



One point game.

Holy shit are we going to win this?

Dellavedova hits a stupid runner. And one.

84 - 80.

2:20 left.

Stupid turnover.


LeBron three pointer.

87 - 80.

Seven point game.

Believe it or not, completely separate from watching the game, Judy and the train man and the bartender are talking about different types of Curry and the best way to prepare the sauces. "Yeah, see, there's that fucking Indian Curry, right?That shit is spicy as all hell!"

Some things you can't make up.

Right on cue, Stephen Curry hits a three.

88 - 83.

1:23 left.

"That looks like football!" Kim is giggling. "What??"

Dellavedova has dived for the loose ball.

The train man is screaming in my direction, "ARE YOU WRITING THAT DOWN?? ARE YOU WRITING THAT DOWN??? AHAHAHA YOU CRAZY MOTHERFUCKER! I don't want you to miss anything, you know."

Dellavedova hits both free throws.


Curry inbounds stolen by James.

He's just on another plane.



Hits one.

91 - 83. 51 seconds left

Hits the second. 92 - 83.


92 - 85. Timeout Warriors.

[[I run to the bathroom and Kim writes, "pickles and cheese at :43.8" Good god, I love this woman.]]


Steph three --> Four point game.

92 - 88

27.9 left.

LeBron hits both.

Curry hits the three!

Golden State ball! 17.5 seconds left. Klay might have stripped it from Dellavedova but replays show he's out of bounds.

"That's a bad call!"

"You're right, it's a bad call, but honestly I'll take it!"

"But if they win because of this," asks Kim, "won't it not feel as good?"


Ah, fuck, they reverse it anyways.

Cavs ball.

--> Inbound to LeBron



--- = ---

We settled up and said our goodbyes. Judy and the train man were cackling in the corner still messing around with the vaporizer and we all hugged each other.

"Better luck next time, my man!" he shouted. "Better luck in the future."

It is summer here. The air is warm. I hugged Kim and we walked arm in arm into the night.

What a goddamn game.

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