The Golden State Warriors are two wins away from becoming back-to-back champions after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers by a score of 122-103 in Game 2 of the N.B.A. finals on Sunday night at Oakland’s Oracle Arena.
Stephen Curry led Golden State with 33 points, going 9 of 17 from 3-point range, and the team’s devastating offensive trio of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Curry combined for 79 points. Curry’s nine 3-pointers broke the N.B.A. finals record of eight set by the Celtics’ Ray Allen in 2010.
In an on-court interview with ABC’s Doris Burke following the game, Curry talked about what it was like to break Allen’s record.
“It means a lot,” he said. “As I’ve gone through the career I’ve been blessed to play, Reggie (Miller) and Ray Allen are the two names that always pop up at the top of all the 3-point shooter lists, so any time you’re mentioned with those names is pretty special.”
The well-rounded effort, with plenty of help from Golden State’s bench, offset a huge game from LeBron James, who had 29 points, 13 assists and 9 rebounds. James got some help from Kevin Love and George Hill, but that wasn’t nearly enough on a day where the Warriors had eight players make solid contributions to the effort, including the newly-installed starting center, JaVale McGee, who scored the first four points of the game and finished with 12.
The series now shifts to Cleveland, with the heavily-favored Warriors in firm control even if the games have been far more competitive than most pundits predicted.
Here’s how the Warriors won Game 2:
4th Quarter: Cavs Clear the Bench, Down 18
The Cavaliers called yet another timeout after Stephen Curry found Kevin Durant for a huge dunk which extended Golden State’s lead to 18 points. The game is effectively over with 5:15 left to play unless LeBron James can somehow find a gear that even he might not consider possible.
The Cavaliers largely gave up with 4:09 left in the game, sending in bench players like Cedi Osman, Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood to see if any of them can get some confidence from a good stretch at the end of what has turned into a mild blowout. After 43 minutes, LeBron James is on the bench with 29 points, 13 assists and 9 rebounds.
Marc Stein: Can’t argue with the Ty Lue’s decision to surrender with 4:09 to go and the Warriors up by 18. LeBron didn’t look thrilled with it as he exited the game, but it’s time to give the likes of Rodney Hood and Cedi Osman a taste of this series — and save LeBron from himself. He needs a rest.
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SOURCE: NY Times, Benjamin Hoffman and Marc Stein