March 19, 2019
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Warriors rout Cavaliers to take 2-0 lead in NBA Finals

Bob Donnan | USA Today Sports
Bob Donnan | USA Today Sports
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green puts up a shot over Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith during the second half in game two of the NBA Finals Sunday at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

OAKLAND, California — Draymond Green bombed in five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 28 points Sunday night, and the Golden State Warriors held Cleveland Cavaliers to their lowest postseason scoring output in eight years en route to a 110-77 drubbing in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers lost not just a second consecutive game in the best-of-seven series but also power forward Kevin Love to a possible concussion after a second-quarter collision with Warriors forward Harrison Barnes.

Love left for good early in the third quarter after looking disoriented on the floor. He was placed in the NBA concussion protocol and is questionable for Game 3, which is scheduled for Wednesday night in Cleveland.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson rebounded from low-scoring efforts in Game 1 by producing 18 and 17 points, respectively, for Golden State.

The Warriors, who won the opener 104-89, set an NBA Finals record for total margin of victory — 48 points — in the first two games of the series.

LeBron James had team highs with 19 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers, who were held to 72 points twice in the 2008 playoffs, including in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Boston.

The Warriors allowed the Cavaliers only 82 points in Game 4 of last year’s Finals, a game Golden State won at Cleveland to even the series and begin a three-game winning streak that resulted in the championship.

Golden State hasn’t lost to the Cavaliers since, including a 2-0 sweep in the regular-season home-and-home.

Love’s injury occurred late in the second period when he got hit in the back of the head by Barnes while reaching for a rebound.

After spending almost two minutes on the floor, Love convinced the Cavaliers staff he was OK to continue.

He started the second half but experienced dizziness early in the third quarter and pulled himself from the game at the 9:54 mark.

He finished with five points and three rebounds, shooting just 2-for-7.

The Warriors led 55-46 at the time, but they took a bit of hit themselves when Curry was called for a fourth foul at the 8:42 mark. He left the game at that point.

However, Golden State didn’t miss a beat with the NBA regular-season Most Valuable Player on the bench, getting two 3-pointers from Green and a third from Thompson while rolling up a 74-57 advantage with 2:36 remaining in the period.

The margin was 20 by quarter’s end, and Golden State went on to lead by as many as 34 in a fourth quarter dominated by reserves.

Green (five), Curry (four) and Thompson (four) combined for 13 3-pointers as Golden State shot 15-for-33 (45.5 percent) from beyond the arc.

Green shot 11-for-20 overall and Curry 7-for-11, helping Golden State finish at 54.3 percent from the field.

James committed seven turnovers and missed 10 of his 17 shots.

Backup Richard Jefferson had 12 points and Kyrie Irving, despite 5-for-14 shooting, added 10 for the Cavaliers.

Cleveland, which won at Oakland in Game 2 of last year’s Finals to even the series, was held to 35.4 percent shooting from the field. The Cavaliers connected on only five of their 23 3-point attempts (21.7 percent).

After trailing for most of the first 16 minutes, the Warriors were up by one before Green hit back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite an 11-point run that produced a 42-30 lead.

Green also had a three-point play to cap the surge, which ended when Love buried a 3-pointer with 4:36 left in the half.

Curry and Thompson bombed in subsequent 3-pointers to help the Warriors go in front 52-37.

Curry came out of the game with three fouls at that point, however, and the Cavaliers took advantage to chip away at their deficit.

James and Jefferson combined for all the points as Cleveland finished the half on a 7-0 run, trimming Golden State’s halftime lead to 52-44.

Green had 18 points to lead all scorers in the half. After a scoreless first period, James paced the Cavaliers with 14.

The Cavaliers managed a 21-19 lead after one quarter despite no points from James, his first scoreless first period in his Finals history.

Tristan Thompson had eight points in the quarter, during which Golden State committed six turnovers and Curry picked up two early fouls.

 



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