Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, GSW leads series 2-0
(9pm ET Wednesday, ABC)
Just a week ago, a Cavs-Warriors finals promised to join “The Godfather II” and “Empire Strikes Back” among the great sequels of all time. But after the Warriors totally dominated Cleveland Sunday night by a score of 110-77, these Finals feel more like the finishing touches on the greatest season in NBA history.
LeBron James would find Tristan Thompson for a bucket that would put the Cavs up 21-19 to close out the first quarter, despite James (0-5), Kevin Love (1-4) and Kyrie Irving (2-6), combining to hit on just 3 of 15 from the floor. And the Cavs would go up 28-22 early in the second quarter on an emphatic driving dunk by James, but the Warriors would respond with a 9-point burst that took less than two minutes, and would give them the lead. James would temporarily stop the bleeding with a pair of free throws, whereupon the Warriors tore off another 11 in a row, with Draymond Green responsible for 9 of those points.
About 2 minutes into the third quarter, with the Warriors up 55-46, Kevin Love checked out of the game for good, unable to shake off the effects of a Harrison Barnes elbow to the back of the head in the second quarter that had left him writhing on the ground in pain for several seconds. Love skipped Tuesday’s practice and his status for Game 3 is up in the air, as under the NBA’s concussion protocol he must first prove he is symptom-free before returning to play.
A minute after Love’s departure, Steph Curry would leave the game as well, upon getting called for his fourth foul of the game, with the Warriors up 57-46. Draymond Green would fill the void left by Curry, scoring 10 of the team’s 15 points over the remainder of the third, on 4-of-5 shooting, including one long-range 3 that was so ugly and ill-conceived that Green himself would laughingly dismiss it as an “awful shot” during the post-game press conference.
With the Cavs down 20, Curry checked back in to start the fourth quarter and promptly drained a 3 from the 28-foot mark to pad the lead. It would be his only shot of the quarter, though he would also notch an assist, pull down a pair of rebounds and draw three fouls, before checking out for good with 7:07 to play. Neither Thompson nor Green launched even a single shot in the final quarter, as the second unit for Golden State kept the pedal to the floor, with Ian Clark hitting 3 off 4, Game 1 hero Shaun Livingston making 2 of 2, and Leandro Barbosa 3 of 5, to seal the win.
Draymond Green led all scorers with 28 on 11-of-20 shooting, to go along with 7 rebounds and 5 assists, while Curry and Thompson added 18 and 17 respectively. LeBron James was off his game, hitting just 7 of 17 for 19 points, along with 8 rebounds and 9 assists, but he also made 7 turnovers, including 2 in the Warriors run that put them up for good in the second quarter. And his teammates were much worse, as Kyrie Irving scored 10 on 5-of-14 shooting, Love hit 2 of 7, JR Smith just 2 of 6…
Coming into the Finals, the Warriors’ Klay Thompson and Steph Curry had both been held to under 20 points on five occasions, going 3-2 in those games. The Splash Brothers have now both been held to under 20 in each game of this series, and the Cavs have failed to capitalize, as the Warriors have now beaten the Cavs in 7 straight games, including 5 postseason games going back to last year’s Finals, with no end in sight.