2015 NBA Finals: Cavaliers Eke Out Scrappy Game 2 Victory
After losing Kyrie Irving for the remainder of the playoffs to injury in overtime of Game 1, the Cleveland Cavaliers looked like they were no match for the Golden State Warriors. But after Game 2, the NBA Finals are now anything but a certainty as the Cavs won 95-93 in another overtime thriller. After the frantic offensive pace to Game 1, Game 2 was focused on the defenses. LeBron James’ triple-double would usually be the headline, but Cleveland’s ability to stop Steph Curry and the Warriors’ offense for most of the game was instrumental in their victory.
James led the way for Cleveland with 39 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 assists. In addition to another great performance by LeBron, the Cavs’ role players stepped up in the absence of Irving and Kevin Love. Timofey Mozgov added 17 points and J.R. Smith came off the bench with 13 of his own. The biggest contribution may have come from an unsung source, as Australian Matthew Dellavedova filled in for Irving and put in 9 points, sank the game winning free throw, and was the catalyst to the Cavs’ great defensive performance.
The Warriors had some answers to Cleveland’s defense, but Dellavedova’s effort proved to be a big problem. He guarded the Warriors’ star in Curry, who ended up having one of his worst performances of the season. Curry went 5-for-23 in the game– almost unheard of out of one of the game’s best shooters. Klay Thompson, on the other hand, did his part by dropping 34 points, but it wasn’t enough to offset Curry’s bad night.
The referees were also a questionable part of the series’ second game. After calling the game fairly tightly throughout the game, the refs seemed to swallow their whistles or make questionable decisions in the 4th quarter’s dying minutes and during the overtime. In an odd twist of events, James seemed to be the one who wasn’t getting any calls in his favor and if anything was a victim of calls to his detriment. Even still, the Cavs survived some calls that could’ve changed the direction of the game, as well as the Warriors’ late game comeback, to tie the series up at 1.
The NBA Finals will move to Cleveland on Tuesday night for Game 3. Tip-off is scheduled for just after 9 pm EST.
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