Posted on June 5, 2017, by Travis Pulver
There has been one person missing from the Golden State Warriors for the majority of the playoff run this year—head coach Steve Kerr (due to health issues). Mike Brown has done a good job in his place with an undefeated playoff run and has given fans plenty to cheer about along the way. But on Sunday night, the fans got another reason to cheer.
Kerr was back on the sideline.
“He’s been around, the last couple weeks especially, giving us input and giving us what he’s got,” Steph Curry said of Kerr (NBCSports). “But having him back on the bench means a lot. We love his presence. We love his voice. And we’re a full group when he’s out here. So that means a lot.”
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Mike Brown has done a phenomenal job in his place. He’s done such a good job that some fans may think the team shouldn’t switch head coaches. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it–right? But after how Game Two went, no one will be sad Kerr is back.
LeBron James and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers did give the Warriors a much better fight this time. James had a double-double by halftime and ended the game with a triple-double (29 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds) which pulls him into a tie for most triple-doubles in the NBA Finals (eight) with Magic Johnson.
Kevin Love had a pretty decent game with 27 points and seven rebounds. But Kyrie Irving struggled with his shot hitting only eight of 23 attempts for 19 points.
Tristan Thompson had another rough night with just eight points and four rebounds. The bench didn’t help much either (30 points from eight players). But the Cavs got a helping hand from the Warriors who committed 20 turnovers.
In Game One it was the Cavs who had 20 turnovers. This time they had only nine.
They were far from perfect, but the Cavs played much better than they did in Game One. They were down by six points after the first quarter, 40-34, but managed to close the gap to just three points heading into halftime with the score 67-64.
But, just like they have many times this season, the Warriors blew the game open with one dominant quarter. This time it came it in the third as the Warriors turned a three-point halftime lead into a 14-point one (102-88). The Cavs never really threatened in the fourth quarter as the Warriors went on to win 132-113.
“Well, it’s been a great run, but none of that matters unless we can finish the job with this series,” Kerr said. “Trust me, we know. It was 2-0 last year, we lost.”
If Steph Curry and Kevin Durant can keep playing at the level they have been, the Cavaliers will be hard-pressed to get back in the series. The duo combined for 65 points with Durant chipping in 33 and Curry 32. Durant chipped in 13 rebounds to make his night a double-double. Not be outdone, Curry tacked on ten rebounds and 11 assists giving him a triple-double for the game.
“We turned the ball over too much in the first half. But the second half, I think we settled in, tried to play simple and defensively just tried to contest their shots,” Durant said after the game.
It didn’t hurt that Klay Thompson finally broke out of his funk. He hit eight of 12 shots on the night including four of seven from three-point range for 22 points.
The Cavaliers will have a few days off to regroup and figure something out before Game Three tips off in Cleveland Wednesday night at 9 PM ET on ABC.