CLEVELAND-There are myriad things that Draymond Green does for the Golden State Warriors, all the requisite basketball skills are part of his package since he's an excellent defender, good passer, solid shooter and he is integral to their success.
By game's end the difference was still substantial with Golden State committing 20 turnovers to Cleveland's nine.
Cleveland's third star, point guard Kyrie Irving, struggled offensively with a 8-for-23 shooting night, fellow starters Tristan Thompson (eight points, four rebounds) and J.R. Smith (scoreless) were invisible again and no one on the bench stepped up leaving King James helpless for much of the night.
"He did some really great things last night to ignite that team and he continued to do that throughout the season".
Golden State could become the first National Basketball Association team to make an unbeaten playoff run to the crown, having swept Portland, Utah and San Antonio and overpowered the Cavaliers twice at home to open the finals.
"If we play that same game in Cleveland there's no way we win", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said in his postgame news conference.
Warriors: The Warriors had their first 40-point quarter in the Finals since scoring 41 in the first quarter of Game 6 in 1967 against the 76ers. These Cavaliers are probably a more complete team than the one that brought a championship to Cleveland a year ago thanks to the additions of Kyle Korver and Deron Williams, while the Warriors - breaking news - added Kevin Durant.
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At halftime, the coach asked Stephen Curry to stop worrying about his turnovers and play with joy and passion. Just when they might seem vulnerable, Durant will step in to play center and obliterate whatever fledgling hope can be found.
The suspension may have been an eye-opening moment for Green and it haunted him early in the current series. The Warriors started to pull away in the third quarter, building a 14-point lead to start the fourth quarter. Kevin Love put in 27 points and Kyrie Irving finished with 19. We saw what happened previous year.
Durant with his second double-double of this series scored 33 points, had 13 rebounds and added six assists, along with five blocks and three steals. If he's got his shot back, then this series could be over in a flash. The Warriors are coming off recording 132 points on 51.7 percent shooting from the field with 34 total assists. Whenever a Cav makes a odd decision, they do so under duress. And then anything can happen in a Game 7, right?
Underlying the Warriors' offensive outburst were a few significant adjustments. That praise might be real now, because, as lopsided as the score in Game 2 was, in some respects the Cavs played better than when they lost, 113-91, in the first game of the series. When the Warriors did pass, it was in drive-and-kick situations rather than efforts to force interior passes. Curry had already spun James around in a cathartic remix of 2016. General manager Bob Myers was willing to allow his coach to come back on his own terms, even if it meant returning deep into the Finals. His length kept bothering the Cavs at the rim, and the Warriors' small-ball, switch-everything line-up repeatedly snuffed out shots when the Cavs mistakenly thought they were in the clear.
"They won their first two games like they're supposed to", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.
Kyrie Irving scored 24 points in the opener and Love had a big day in Game 2, but starters Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith have been almost invisible and the bench has offered little help. Stories about Rihanna's hoops fan devotion to James also get ignored. Look at what he's done so far in these Finals.