Cavaliers need heart, pride fewer mistakes in Finals


There are many things to examine within the first two games of this series, and a good number of words will be devoted to it. And that would be to win just one game.

Golden State also got a bounce-back game out of Klay Thompson, who poured on 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

Unbeaten in the playoffs with 14 straight wins, victors in 29 of their last 30, including the regular season, the Warriors, the hottest basketball team of this or any other playoff season, are what's there now.

They have been just that so far in the playoffs, welcoming head coach Steve Kerr back to the bench after he missed 11 games due to complications from multiple back surgeries by pushing their post-season record to 14-0, the best there has ever been this deep into the playoffs, a ideal 16-0 run just two games away.

Steph Curry said rigorous individual workouts have been part of the status quo around the Warriors.

For Durant, whenever he has competed against James in the games that matter the most, there have not been positive endings. The Cavs were led by James (28 points, 15 rebounds) and Kevin Love (15 points, 21 rebounds).

The Cavaliers knocked down just nine of their 26 attempts from the field in the third quarter.

Golden State Warriors coach Mike Brown during a news conference at the Warriors practice facility on Saturday, June 3, 2017, in Oakland, Calif.

Despite Golden State's timely makes from three-point range over the first half, the Cavaliers trailed by just three points, 67-64, after the first 24 minutes of play. At the other end, Cleveland's first eight points were in the paint. Kyrie Irving scored 24 points but added just two assists.

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All that triple-double, his NBA Finals tying record eighth, got him and the Cavs was a 14-point deficit going into the final quarter.

For three quarters, it seemed Game 2 could have gone either way. Curry forged a triple-double, Kevin Durant was 33 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks worth of pure brilliance and the Warriors, welcoming coach Steve Kerr back to the bench, overcame a LeBron James triple-double to clobber the Cavs, 132-113, for a 2-0 Finals lead.

And who knows, maybe they could win another ring, this time with a flawless record through the playoffs. A three-pointer from small forward Draymond Green, layup from center Zaza Pachulia and floating jumper from Curry punctuated the run. He was behind the bench for all of this season until the third game of the Warriors' playoff run.

This is only the fifth Finals game - and the first since 1967 - where both teams had at least 64 points at the half.

Struggling with turnovers and defensive communication, the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers are counting on learning from their mistakes to fight their way back in the NBA Finals.

But despite the Game 1 setback, it is a best-of-seven series, and the Cavaliers are focused on turning the tide and taking a 1-1 tie back to Cleveland for Game 3 next Wednesday night.

"When you turn the ball over, that's when they become very risky because those guys, they sprint down the lane, they sprint to the three-point line, they put a lot of pressure on your defence", James said. "We were much more physical today than we were in Game 1, and we forced them to 20 turnovers".

But the defining shot of last year's Finals and maybe of this National Basketball Association era was made by the Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving over Steph Curry in the last minute of the last game of last year's Finals, reducing the Warriors to silver medalists.

Followed by the current Cavaliers-Warriors stranglehold on the league. Also, the Warriors outscored the Cavaliers, 18-13, in second-chance situations, and, 27-9, on the fast break. "We made a lot of mistakes; they capitalized".