All of that had appeared to be coming together in the 2016 Western Conference Finals when they held a 3-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors.
Golden State will get their first chance to close out the series on Friday in Cleveland.
LeBron James finished with another triple-double of 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but he was very passive late - he shot just once in the final five minutes - and failed to make a concerted effort to fight through screens in order to guard Durant over that same stretch.
While LeBron James and company have put up an honorable fight through three games, the Warriors' talent level has simply proven too high for a Cavs team that is in noticeable need of additional high-level playmakers. Thompson once had 37 points in a single quarter.
He said he tried to "fast track" Kryie Irving's mind when James returned to Cleveland four years ago.
"We have a lot of talent as well", James noted. "[KD's] one of the best players I've ever played against [and] that this league has ever seen". KD should now just go back to his "Slim Reaper" nickname, as he is just killing the hopes and dreams of anyone thinking they can beat the Warriors...
No player in the league understands the current climate better than James, who formed a super-team in Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and won two National Basketball Association titles before returning to Cleveland and joining forces with All-Stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. James' Cleveland Cavaliers, after all, were down like this past year.
Durant didn't have it in Game 1, but the Warriors picked him up.
If Durant plays like he did last night-43 points, 13 points, seven assists, 65 percent shooting-the Cavaliers probably won't even manage the gentleman's sweep, despite how well LeBron James has been playing. If he is able to outperform Durant and Curry by a wide margin, he still needs some help from a supporting cast that hasn't offered all that much support this postseason. "You can't have mistakes".
Durant especially, a player likely to crack the mythical 30,000 points mark, has plenty to gain in all-time discussions should the Warriors win, so history has often been a topic of conversation for Durant.