(OAKLAND, CA) – It’s been said that Cleveland requires Lebron “King” James’ super human 50-points-a-game if they are to have a realistic shot at beating the defending champion Gold State Warriors, in the best-of-7 NBA finals. Having scored only 29 points, 5 below his season average, on 50% shooting, along with 13 assists and 9 rebounds, 1 shy of a triple-double, in game 2, his mortal efforts were not enough to stave off a 122-103 game 2 road loss, at the Oracle Arena yesterday.
Although the Cavs managed to out score the Warriors 34-31 in the all important 3rd quarter, after being down 46-59 at the half, the Steph Curry long range shooting show doused any hopes Cleveland had of a comeback victory.
A win they badly need to go back to Cleveland for games 3 and 4 with a least one victory in hand. Instead looking up at a 0-2 games deficit to arguably one of the best starting 5 to ever play the game, the task of winning the next 4 of 5 is virtually impossible.
Yet this 4th consecutive meeting of these two franchises in the NBA finals being a league and professional teams record in itself – anything can happen. Especially as Lebron and Curry are dropping personal record at record speed with each game in the series.
While James is playing in his record 8th straight finals, though 9th appearance overall, and is surpassing the play-off total points of the likes of Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Curry dropped a record 9 treys in this latest outing against opposing guard James.
Their super hero-like duel is eclipsing the sensational play of other league stars on both teams.
The Warriors’ Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, who combined for 47 points, and the Cavs’ Kevin Love and George Hill’s total 37 points on the night, are as though they are after thoughts.
Curry topped all scorers with 33 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. He’s averaging 31 points in the series by also converting 50% of his tries. With his latest exploits, his 90 career 3-pointers in the finals, he surpassed James’ previous record of 85.
Beyond the effort of their starters, Cleveland centre Javale McGee was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, good enough for 12 points in 18 minutes, while his bench mates Suan Livingston, Jordan Bell, and David West chipped in 3 points, 3 boards, 2 assists, and 3 blocks in 11 minutes.
Cleveland’s No. 1 option from beyond the arc, guard JR Smith, went just 2-for-9 in the contest, and only 1-for-4 in 2-point range. Smith, who plays opposite Golden State’s Draymon Green, and is still trying to shake off his game 1 blunder, didn’t score a single point after the opening quarter; a stat that simply cannot persist from James’ back-court counterpart.
Meanwhile Cavs reserves Jeff Green, Kyle Korver, and Jordan Clarkson put up just 9 points in the losing effort.
Unless the later group gets comfortable performing at home, when the series heads east to Ohio this Wednesday and Friday, the Cavs may be swept and not make it back out west again this season.