The Cavaliers put up a strong fight but still fell 132-113 in Game 2 of the NBA finals to the Golden State Warriors, a superteam who are starting to look – and this postseason literally are – unbeatable.
The Cavaliers played significantly better than they did in the first game of the series, but a triple-double from LeBron James, 20 forced turnovers and 15 steals still weren’t enough to topple the best team in decades.
It was Golden State’s 14th consecutive win in the playoffs, besting the longest postseason win streak in league history.
After the game, James summarized how it must feel to face the Warriors in this sort of form. Asked what he needed after the game, he replied simply: “some food … and some wine.”
Leading the Warriors’ effort – again – was Kevin Durant, with 33 points. He did it all. He made incredible plays off his own rebounds.
He swatted away the ball from several defenders, including James. He even made a shot while falling to the ground.
“We can’t give up 23 points off our turnovers. Especially a championship team like that, they’re going to thrive off it,” Durant said.
“We could play hard every possession, but can we play smart?”
Team-mate Steph Curry danced circles around his defenders with some nasty crossovers, and ignited the offense with 32 points in his triple-double performance. The crowd shot to its feet whenever Klay Thompson scored.
The Splash Brother has been struggling in the postseason but slipped out of his slump, adding 22 points and 7 rebounds.
JaVale McGee continued to be impactful, with a huge block and a massive dunk over Kevin Love after he came off the bench. Andre Iguodala also had a colossal block on Channing Frye that brought the crowd to its feet.
Based on the first two games, the next NBA champion appears a done deal. Now it could just be a question of who will be finals MVP.
But it should be remembered that the Cavaliers were 2-0 down at this stage last year, and they didn’t take Sunday’s loss lying down. Indeed, they were just three points down going into halftime.
“It’s been a great run, but none of that matters unless we can finish the job,” said the Warriors’ head coach, Steve Kerr.
“Heading to Cleveland we’re gonna have to be a lot smarter. If we play that game in Cleveland, we’re not winning.”
James carried the team on offense and defense, scoring 29 points and stealing the ball several times.
He even joined Magic Johnson and Jerry West as the only players to reach 300 career assists in the finals.
Kevin Love caught fire early, assisting James with 27 points and 7 rebounds.
Kyrie Irving managed 19 points after being guarded heavily by Thompson.
The Warriors had a standout performance, but the loudest cheers at Oracle Arena went to Kerr.
He returned to the bench to coach the Warriors after missing most of the postseason due to health issues.
Each time the camera turned to him the crowd went wild, and they gave Kerr a standing ovation when the lineup was announced.
With the series heading to Cleveland for two games, the Cavs must hope they can improve again and level the series on home turf.
But based on the evidence so far, the Warriors may be simply too good to beat.