OAKLAND, Calif., Sporting Alert — After crushing Cleveland in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night, the Golden State Warriors aim to take a 2-0 lead in the seven-game series at ORACLE Arena on Sunday.
Watch Live Streaming of Game 2 on WatchESPN, while ABC will have live television broadcast, starting at 8:00 pm ET.
DURANT MEANS BUSINESS
Kevin Durant joined an already star-studded Warriors lineup from Oklahoma City at the end of last season to win NBA championships and the superstar forward showed he’s prepared to get there as quickly as possible after dominating the Cavs in Game 1.
Durant finished with 38 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and shot 53.8-percent in 38 minutes during the 113-91 victory over the Cavaliers in the series opener.
Cavs’ LeBron James admitted afterwards that Durant was certainly the difference between the two teams and vowed to pay closer attention to the All-Star free scorer.
The defending champions are confident about drawing the series level ahead of their home fixtures, but ESPN’s Basketball Power Index is backing the Warriors to continue their dominance at home.
Golden State, which swept its way into the NBA Finals, have won 13 straight in the playoffs this season and ESPN’s BPI is giving the Stephen Curry-led squad an 85-percent chance to win Game 2.
Despite losing the first game, Cleveland managed to hold all but two Warriors players below double figures in scoring, with only Durant and Curry, who hit six 3-pointers and scored 28 points, reaching those numbers.
CAVS BIG 3 NEED HELP TO STOP WARRIORS
James (28), Kyrie Irving (24) and Kevin Love (15) combined to score 67 of the Cavaliers’ 91 points, while Tristan Thompson was held without scoring in 22 minutes and was 0-for-3 from the field.
Reserves Deron Williams and Kyle Korver who were picked up mid-season specifically for this moment, failed to trouble the scoreboard and will need to do more offensively if Cleveland is going to challenge the Warriors.
At the same time, Golden State will hope Klay Thompson will break out of his shooting slump after an unproductive series opener.
Thompson, who is averaging 13.8 points across 13 games in the playoffs this season, scored just six points on 3-of-16 shooting, while going 0-for-5 on 3-point attempts in Game 1.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue admits after the game that he’s never seen a team as dominant as Golden State.
“They’re the best I’ve ever seen,” Lue told reporters. “They’re 13-0. They’re constantly breaking records every year.”
WARRIORS HUNTING ANOTHER RECORD
Meanwhile, according to ESPN Stats and Information, Golden State’s 13-0 record in the postseason this campaign sees it drawing level with the 1988-89 Los Angeles Lakers and 2016-17 Cleveland Cavaliers for the longest postseason win streak in NBA history.
Another win on Sunday would tie the Western Conference champions with the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the longest postseason win streak across the 4 major North American pro sports leagues, which involve the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
KERR COULD RETURN IN GAME
Coach Steve Kerr had hoped to be on the bench for Games 1, but opted to stay in the locker room as he continues to recover from difficulties from his back surgery almost two years ago.
The third-year coach is hoping to be out on the court for Game 2, but if he’s not there, stand-in head coach Mike Brown will remain in the spotlight.