Nine times out of ten, the team that sends out five playmakers at any given time will beat the team with just one. With their impressive 110-77 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2, the Golden State Warriors showed why they’re the more complete team — or are at least playing like they are.
For the second straight game, only one Cavalier showed up — LeBron James. And he barely showed up. It started in the first quarter, with both offenses trudging along. James was held scoreless on five attempts, but did his best to get others involved, and he was able to record five assists; along with his great orchestration on offense, James picked off three passes in the frame. The Cavs finished with 21 points on 32% shooting, and Tristan Thompson was their leading scorer with eight — rather unusual, isn’t it? Irving and Love continued to struggle and shot 3/10 from the floor with six combined points; Richard Jefferson provided a spark off the bench with his four points.
Golden State was very lucky to be down by only two with the way they played. Their offense was just as weak as the Cavaliers’ and their six turnovers didn’t help. What did help, however, was their relentless attack of the offensive glass, and Andrew Bogut‘s defense. Seven of the Warriors’ 18 rebounds were off one of their misses, and Bogut was right at the head of it with three of his own. His defense was just as remarkable, and he swatted four shots in eight minutes. Draymond Green was feeling it early and poured in six quick points to lead the Warriors.
James awoke from his offensive slumber to start the second, and the King was in full attack mode. He accounted for 14 of Cleveland’s 23 points and shot 5/7 from the field with three rebounds and two assists. One man can only do so much, though, and the rest of the team was just 3/13 — this includes Irving, Thompson, and J.R. Smith going a combined 0/6. The Warriors capitalized, went on one of their runs, and decimated the Cavs with a barrage of three-pointers. Green made a case to become the newest Splash Brother as he shot 3/5 from three and finished with 12 points; Klay Thompson was 2/5 for eight points, and Stephen Curry was 1/2 with seven points. Thompson added four assists to his scoring total, and when a team needs to worry about him as a passer and a scorer, Golden State’s tough to beat. They finished with a 33-point quarter and entered halftime leading 52-44.
The sloppiness with the basketball continued and totally killed any flow on Cleveland’s offense. In the third, the Cavs’ shooting improved, and they finished the quarter 8/15. The only issue was that they committed seven turnovers with three of them via LeBron. Jefferson continued his wonderful play off the bench, finishing with five points on 2/2 from the field, and Irving scored six to lead the Cavs to an 18-point quarter. Also during the third, Kevin Love went down about two minutes in after taking Harrison Barnes‘ elbow to the back of his head. He took himself out of the game, didn’t return, and is now undergoing the league’s concussion protocol.
Golden State’s offense was still scorching out of the break, and they were without Curry. Steph picked up his fourth foul early in the quarter, and wouldn’t come back, but the Warriors have the luxury of not needing him. Green was at the forefront of the dominance, putting in ten more points on 4/7 from the field, followed by Thompson, who went for nine. The duo shot 4/4 from three, and the Dubs hung 30 on the winded Cavs.
By the time the fourth rolled around, the game was already finished. Coach Tyronn Lue had James on the bench for the whole quarter and quickly took out the rest of his starters not long after the period started. Steve Kerr employed the same strategy, and his bench couldn’t help but torch the Cavaliers, and stretched the lead out to 34 at one point.
At the end of the night, Green was the game’s leading scorer with 28 and added seven rebounds and five assists. Curry and Thompson went for 18 and 17, respectively, and shot a combined 8/16 from deep. LeBron had the best performance for the Cavs and ended with 19 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists but did have seven turnovers. In the most shocking stat of the evening, Jefferson outscored Irving 12-10 on just 4/6 shooting.
The series heads back to Cleveland for the next two games, and Game 3 is this Wednesday at 9:00 PM EST.