USA Today Sports

Cavs in familiar territory down 0-2 in Finals

The Cavaliers played better, but the result was the same in a Game 2, 132-113 loss to the Warriors

There was good news and bad news.

The good news was the Cavaliers played better in Game 2, but the bad news was the result was the same.

The Cavaliers fall to 0-2 in the best-of-seven series to the Warriors as Golden State won 132-113 in front of a sell out crowd of 19,596 at Oracle Arena in Oakland. 

Last year, the Cavaliers dropped the first two games in Oakland before rallying from a 3-1 deficit to win the title. Golden State has won all 14 of their playoff games. 

"Well, they play well at home," Tyronn Lue said. "They won their first two games like they're supposed to. Coming to a tough environment, we knew it was going to be tough, but they won the first two games. We get a chance to go home now to our home crowd where we play well also. So they won two games; now we got to go home and regroup." 

The Cavs 'Big 3' played well scoring 75 points with 21 assists. LeBron James tied Magic Johnson with his eighth triple-double in the NBA Finals. James had 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds. Kevin Love had 27 points , while Kyrie Irving had 19 points and seven assists. 

For the second game in a row, Kevin Durant led Golden State with 33 points and 13 rebounds, while Steph Curry had 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. 

The Cavs came back from a 2-0 deficit in 2016, as well as a 3-1 deficit in the series, but James said the Warriors are not the same team with Durant.

"They're a different team," James said. "You guys asked me 'what was the difference?' And I told you. They're a different team." 

The Cavs made just eight three-point shots to the Warriors 18, for a difference of 30 points. 

 "I was pleased with our three-point defense," Steve Kerr said in his first game back as coach. "And that's important. This (Cavs) team really thrives on making threes, and we held them to 8-29. That was key. But they went smaller, they had shooters all over the floor, they didn't play their two bigs together that often, which opened up the game, and LeBron was so determined to get downhill to the rim. Right from the beginning you could see the force that he brought to the game. And when he's like that, not a whole lot you can do." 

The Warriors led 40-34 after one quarter after the Cavs had an early six-point lead but a 13-2 run by the Warriors propelled them to a 10-point lead at one point in the first period. Curry had 15 points in the first quarter, thanks largely to 10-10 from the free throw line, including two attempts on three-point shots.

The Cavs trailed by 12 points in the second quarter, but cut the deficit to one-point with 1:41 to play and trailed at the half 67-64 when Irving hit a layup at the buzzer. 

In the third quarter, the Cavs trailed 86-82 with 5:30 to play, but the Warriors extended their lead in the rest of the quarter to take a 14-point lead after three quarters, 102-88. The Warriors extended their lead to as much as 22 points with six minutes to play in the game and the Cavs emptied their bench with four minutes to play.

Lue was asked what one area the Cavs have to improve on to get back into the series.

"Defensively," he said. "I think that having awareness, can't relax, can't fall asleep. This team, their offense is constant movement, so you got to be locked in, you can't take a peek somewhere and lose your man, so they make you pay. And they have a lot of guys who can shoot the basketball, have a lot of guys who are great passers, so you got to be alert at all times." 

Tip Ins

King James: LeBron James had his eighth triple-double in the NBA Finals with 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds. James tied Magic Johnson in performing the feat.

Helping Out:  Golden State had just four turnovers in Game 1 and then had 20 turnovers in Game 2,including 13 in the first half. The Cavs had 27 assists, but just nine turnovers. LeBron James led with 14 assists and Kyrie Irving had seven.

Three Point Woes: The Cavs were just 3-of-12 (25 pct.) in the first half from behind the arc and finished just 8-of-29 (27.6 pct.) far below their norm. The  Warriors were 8-of-20 (40 pct.) in the first half alone and finished 18-of-43.

Good Start: The Cavs made their first six shots to start the game, all by LeBron James and Kevin Love.

Of Course, He's Back: Steve Kerr was back coaching for the Warriors for Game 2 after sitting out until the NBA Finals. Former Cavs coach Mike Brown was on the bench in charge for Game 1.

Next Up: The Cavs will host the Warriors in Game 3 on Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena beginning at 9 pm. Game 4 is also in Cleveland on Friday night. 


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