Published: Mon, June 05, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

NBA finals Game 2: Cleveland Cavaliers v Golden State Warriors


"Last year's playoffs felt like a war every game".

Golden State's other Splash Brother has made far more brick sounds than swishes so far this postseason but it's work on the defensive end that has stood out most and been a major factor in the Warriors leading Cleveland 1-0 in the NBA Finals after three straight series sweeps to open the postseason.

Thompson added that even if he cannot secure rebounds in Game 2, he has to focus on at least getting in position to potentially tip the loose ball out to a teammate so he can get the rebound and retain the possession. "He's one of the greatest all time". When you have his ability, when you have his intelligence and feel and all that other stuff, you're able to lead your team in hard situations and tough environments. "So when he's not shooting the ball, that doesn't take him out of his game, that doesn't lower his confidence".

While only Curry and Durant scored in double digits for the Warriors, everyone else stepped up in other ways.

Kerr resumed traveling with the team during the Eastern Conference finals, a sign that his health was slowly improving. By comparison, these NBA Finals mark the 30th playoff series the Warriors franchise has participated in since winning the title in 1975 - a fact that only underscores the number of playoff games James has played in during his career (a staggering 213 entering Sunday).

"I'm not about getting numbers". I couldn't really care less.

Jimmie Johnson pays tribute to Cale Yarborough with helmet design
Per NASCAR rules, his crew chief, tire changer, and tire carrier are now subject to a "mandatory minimum" four-race suspension. Matt Kenseth was third, and Kyle Busch was fourth after recovering from a wheel coming off his auto under caution on lap 19.

Finding a way to do that Sunday will be crucial.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) drives against Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) during the first half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 1, 2017. That's a big ask - even for James. And history tells us he can do it.

Kerr returned to the bench to a rousing ovation, waving to the fans while back on the sideline for the first time since Game 2 of the first round against Portland on April 19 because of pain issues stemming from complications after 2015 back surgery.

"I think that's how Cleveland is going to approach it, make it a physical game", Michael Cooper, now the coach of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream who went through some Lakers-Celtics battles as a player in the 1980s, said before the series began.

"That's always been something that we talk about, so we look forward to seeing what we can bring to the game in Game 2", LeBron James said about Cleveland doing Charles Oakley impressions. "So we know the gravity he pulls when he's out there, and his movement off of the ball is one of the main reasons why we're a good team". "I mean, it's no if, ands, or buts". He's the head of that. "Just having a guy that has been here, done that before, has so much confidence in everything that we do and walks the walk, allows us to be ourselves and be confident in approaching game two". "The line is a full basket higher than Game 1". The point guard is also dishing out almost 6 assists per game.

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving wants to keep pace with Golden State on fast breaks and transition attacks as well. It would take something special from Cavaliers to beat Curry's side. James had little help as Love got there late.

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