For the first time ever in NBA Finals history, games 1 & 2 end in overtime, but this time the Cavaliers walk away with the victory, defeating the Warriors 95-93. Due to me being in Washington DC, covering the Goodman League, I wasn't able to see this entire game. Luckily I got to a TV with 7 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, and the drama was just beginning.
LeBron had himself another classic game, dropping 39 points, 16 boards, and 11 dimes. Despite his great performance though, similar to Game 1, LeBron was shaky in the final stretch of the game
With 3:14 left in the 4th quarter, the Cavs were up 83-72 thanks to a big trey ball by Bronny. Of course an 11 point lead with 3 minutes left isn't much in the NBA, but it should give you confidence. Andre Iguodola answered with a 3 pointer of his own that cut the lead back to 8. From then on it was all Warriors.
Warriors would go on 12-4 run to end the quarter and send into overtime, All 4 Cavalier points coming at the free throw line. Similar to Game 1, LeBron seemed to fade, going 0-3 during that Warriors run, also missing the penitential game winning lay-up.
In overtime, the Cavs had another opportunity to seal the deal and end it, going up 91-87 to start the period, but the Warriors would once again make a run, taking the lead, 93-92 with 29 seconds left. There were a few missed calls by the refs that didn't go LeBron's way, but what's new? We see missed calls every game, many of which that go into LeBron's favor. Luckily for the Cavs, they had their pesky point guard, Matthew Dellavedova, on the court in those final 29 seconds because he pretty much saved the game for them.
Not only did Dellavedova attribute to Steph Curry's worst shooting game ever, but he also made the biggest play of the game with his offensive rebound and two free throws to give the Cavs the lead, 94-93, with 10 seconds remaining. Then on the ensuing play he played great defense on the MVP, forcing Steph to take a bad shot which resulted in an airball.
It's funny how after game 1, everybody discredited this group of role players for LeBron, and a role player is the reason why the Cavs won this game and are not down 0-2 in the series. After the game was over I said to myself, “Dellavedova made more plays in OT than Bronny”. I'm sure no one wants to hear that but it is the truth.
Of course the Cavs would not be able to be in that situation if it wasn't for LeBron stellar performance, but even with is stellar performance, the Warriors still almost won the game. Why? Because he did not make plays down the stretch. I'm sure this will cause some of you to say I'm “hating” but it's the truth. In two overtime periods, LeBron has went 1-7 from the field with 2 turnovers. Not many big plays down the stretch from the World's Best Player, which I think is a problem. This game should have never went into overtime, luckily they found a way to win due to another star's mistakes.
LeBron isn't the only one in the fire with me, Steph Curry had a horrific game, shooting 5-23 from the field and 2-14 from behind the arc. In the post game press conference, Steph said he “wasn't feeling it tonight” which I think had something to do with the agitator, Dellavedova. In game 1, we didn't get to see much of the matchup I predicted in my preview, but we will see it for the rest of the series, and so far Dellavedova is winning the battle.
Steph also was careless with the ball on the final possession of the game when he attempted a bounce pass to Klay Thompson which resulted in a turnover. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to say that Steph must play better in order for the Warriors to win, but even with his sorry performance, it still came down to the last possession.
Klay Thompson was the main scorer today for the Warriors, dropping 34 points and 0 turnovers. Everyone else on the Warriors squad had a decent game, it was just Steph who was missing from the show. Draymond Green finished with 10 rebounds, 4 steals, 5 blocks, one of which was on LeBron in the overtime period.
For the second game straight the Warriors have shot below their season average of 46% (44% gm1, 39% gm2), which I'm still curious on whether or not this will be continuing trend for the rest of the series, which is possible due to the Cavs size in the paint and perimeter defenders. Still I think the Warriors have yet to play their best basketball, while LeBron is playing his best basketball with a depleted Cavs roster. Game 3 is Tuesday 9pm at the Quicken Loans arena.