Blog: Season 1

Jackson Williams, a sports enthusiast, writes about all things sports. 

Sportzball: Season 1

Stephen Curry's Record-Breaking Shooting Night guides Warriors to 122-103 win in Game Two

After getting a few lucky breaks in Game One that helped propel the Warriors to an overtime win, the Golden State Warriors (13-5) took on the Cleveland Cavaliers (12-6) in Game Two of the 2018 NBA Finals. In Game Two, the Warriors would still be without Andre Iguodala after suffering a bone bruise in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals, but the Warriors would have Klay Thompson on the floor. His status was up in the air following a brutal high-ankle sprain in Game One, but after being listed as probable, he was playing in Game Two. The Cavaliers were looking to even the series after blowing a perfect opportunity to steal home court advantage on the back of the sixth 50-point game in NBA History, as LeBron scored 51 in Game One. For the Warriors, JaVale McGee was inserted into the starting lineup following some strong minutes off of the bench in Game One. The Warriors went on to win the game 122-103.

The first quarter got started with a thunderous slam by JaVale McGee, and on the very next possession, he threw down another dunk to get the energy flowing in Oracle. The Cavaliers got their first points on a goaltending violation from JaVale McGee, but Kevin Durant answered back with an easy layup. The Warriors then got two more easy layups to fall before connecting on their first jump shot, which was a three from Klay Thompson. After that three though, the Warriors got right back to the rim, as Draymond Green threw down a slam on a fast break. That slam forced a timeout from Ty Lue, as the Warriors had jumped out to a 16-5 lead after less than four minutes of game time. In those four minutes, the Warriors were 7/7 from the field, and were swarming the Cavaliers on defense. IT looked just like a continuation of the overtime period that ended Game One, in which the Warriors were dominant. After playing for just three minutes and 46 seconds, the Warriors led 16-5. The first miss for the Warriors came on their first possession after the timeout, as Stephen Curry missed on a deep transition three, which George HIll responded to with a made three. The Cavaliers made up some lost ground between timeouts, and that was largely due to JR Smith, who got an and-1 layup to fall (but missed the free throw as the crowd chanted “M-V-P” at him), and hit an open three. LeBron got an easy layup after an incredible double spin move, but the Cavaliers offense was still being swarmed by the Warriors defense. The offense for the Warriors had slowed, as not missing a single shot is unsustainable, but they still were hot. They were 10/12 from the field by the time the second timeout was called, and were leading 21-17 with 4:34 left in the quarter. Stephen Curry came out of the time out and nailed a deep three, and Draymond then threw a lob to Jordan Bell on the next possession. The Warriors kept the ball rolling from there, as they got several more open looks during the next couple minutes en-route to a six-point lead  with 1:44 left in the first. Just before the Cavs called the timeout with 1:44 left, the Warriors got two easy drives to the hoop on a Stephen Curry layup, and a dunk from Shaun Livingston. At the time of the timeout, the Warriors led 30-24. Those final two minutes of the quarter saw the Cavaliers outscore the Warriors 4-2 to cut the lead to just four points. As a team, the Warriors were shooting 65.2% from the floor and 25% from three, while the Cavaliers were shooting 43.5% from the floor and 33.3% from three. The Cavaliers did have the free throw advantage on the Warriors, as they were 6/8 from the line while the Warriors had yet to take a shot from the charity stripe. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry both had seven points to lead the Warriors, and Steph also added five assists and three rebounds. LeBron James was the leader for the Cavaliers with 10 points, five assists, and four rebounds, After the first quarter, the Warriors led the Cavaliers 32-28.

Kevin Durant got the second quarter started with a perfect mid range jumper, and then he hit a three on the next possession, he was 5/5 from the floor. Klay Thompson then knocked down a deep two to give the Warriors a nine-point lead as Ty Lue called timeout with 9:12 left in the half. The Cavaliers only scored two points in the first three minutes of the quarter, on a Jordan Clarkson layup. At the time of the timeout, the Warriors led 39-30. George Hill got the scoring going after that timeout with a three off an assists from LeBron James. Klay then got to the line and shot the first free throws of the night for the Warriors, but went 1/2, which was followed up by Kevin Love converting on and and-1 shot on the other end to cut the lead back to four points. Shaun Livingston then connected on a midrange jumper to get the Warriors going again. Livingston then got a tough layup to fall in transition on the next possession, which Stephen Curry followed up with a three in the face of Larry Nance Jr. That three from Curry forced a timeout from the Cavaliers with 6:11 left in the half. At the time of that timeout, the Warriors were up by 11 points, and were 17/20 from inside the arc up to that point in the game. The Cavaliers scored first after the timeout on free throws by Tristan Thompson, but the Warriors answered back with a hook shot from JaVale McGee. McGee scored the next points for the Warriors, on another tomahawk dunk to get the energy flowing in Oracle once more. The Warriors then fouled George Hill to send him to the line, where he nailed hit first free throw before the Warriors called timeout with 3:12 left in the half. At the time of the timeout, the Wariors led the Cavaliers 51-40. Hill missed his second free throw, but nailed a tough layup for the Cavaliers’ first points after the timeout, which LeBron followed up with a layup to cut the lead to seven points. Stephen Curry answered with a deep three to get the lead to 10-points just seconds after the layup by LeBron. Kevin Durant then got to the line and nailed both free throws before Stephen Curry drained another three. LeBron then got a layup to fall for the last points of the quarter, as Kevon Looney was unable to make a free throw after getting to the line. As a team, the Warriors were shooting 59.5% from the floor and 31.6% from three, while the Cavaliers were shooting 34.8% from the floor and 30% from three. Stephen Curry led all scorers with 16 points on 6/13 shooting, while also dishing out six assists and grabbing five boards. Kevin Durant had 13 points on 5/6 shooting, and Klay Thompson had 10 points on 4/8 shooting. JaVale McGee was incredible in his return to the starting lineup in the first half, with eight points on 4/4 shooting, and Shaun Livingston was incredible off the bench, as he also had eight points on 4/4 shooting. LeBron James was leading the Cavaliers with 15 points on 5/11 shooting, while also dishing out eight assists and grabbing seven rebounds. George Hill had 12 points, but no other Cavalier had more than seven points. At the half, the Warriors led the Cavaliers 59-46.

The Cavaliers went on a quick 5-0 run to get the third quarter started. That run consisted of an easy layup from Tristan Thompson, and an open corner three from Kevin Love. Kevin Durant then got to the line to stop the run and get the lead back up to 10 points. Draymond and Tristan Thompson then traded baskets before Kevin love and Kevin Durant made threes on consecutive possessions. George Hill hit a corner three to cut the lead back to eight points, but JaVale McGee then got an impressive and-1 dunk to fall to get the lead to 10 points. LeBron then got to the rm and got a tough layup to fall over Kevin Durant before Klay Thompson nailed a pull-up three in transition. LeBron then nailed a three to cut the lead back to eight points, and then Tristan Thompson got a dunk to fall in transition to cut the lead to six points. That dunk forced a timeout from Steve Kerr with 6:27 left in the third and the Warriors winning 72-66. Jordan Bell then threw down a dunk to get the scoring started after the timeout, and Kevin Durant followed that up with a mid range jumper, but Kevin Love then nailed a deep three to cut the lead to five points. The lead was brought to seven once more when Klay Thompson got a tough layup to fall around the rim, but the Cavs answered back with a lob to Tristan Thompson. Klay Thompson then got a shot to fall off the glass. The Cavaliers then got a couple nice layups to fall, but Klay Thompson once again answered with a three to force a Cavaliers timeout. The timeout was called with 2:32 left in the game, and the Warriors leading 85-77. Kevin Durant got a mid range jumper to fall in transition to get the lead back to 10 points after the timeout. David West then nailed his first three pointer of the playoffs, and his first three since November. The Cavaliers score one more point on a technical free throw following an interesting foul on Jordan Bell, but those were the last points of the quarter and the Warriors made it out with a 10-point lead. As a team, the Warriors were shooting 59% from the floor and 35.7% from three, while the Cavaliers were shooting 42.4% from the floor and 42.1% from three. Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 22 points, and Klay Thompson added 20 of his own. LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 22 points, and George Kevin Love added 20 of his own. After the third quarter, the Warriors led the Cavaliers 90-80.

LeBron James got the fourth quarter started with a three, but Stephen Curry responded by immediately crossing up Larry Nance Jr. and nailing a three in his face. He hit a wide-open corner three on the following possession, and forced Ty Lue to take a timeout after just two minutes. The timeout was called with 10:11 left in the game and the Warriors winning 96-83. Kevin Love got a backdoor layup to fall right after the timeout, but Shaun Livingston answered with a layup of his own to keep the lead at 13 points. Draymond Green then got a tip-in following a missed layup from Steph, which the Cavaliers answered with a couple quick baskets, one of which was an easy dunk by LeBron James to cut the lead to 11-points. Steve Kerr then called timeout with 8:11 left in the game and the Warriors winning 100-89. Stephen Curry hit a miraculous three right after the timeout and it was probably the most beautiful shot that has ever been shot in the history of the NBA, and it got the Warrior lead up to 14 points. Kevin Durant then got a midrange jumper to fall. The Cavaliers then got a couple quick points before Stephen Curry got an and-1 corner three to fall. Kevin Durant then threw down a powerful dunk off of Stephen Curry’s eighth assist to get the lead up to 18 points, their biggest lead of the game. The dunk forced Ty Lue to call timeout with 5:15 left in the game and the Warriors leading 111-93. Stephen Curry then nailed his ninth three of the game in the face of Cedi Osman to get the lead to 21 points, and to break the NBA Finals record for most threes in a game. The rest of the game was just garbage time as both teams emptied their benches, as the Warriors hung on to win the game 122-103.

Stephen Curry finished as the game’s leading scorer. He had 33 points on 11/26 shooting, while going 9/17 from three. His nine made threes broke the record for most threes made in an NBA Finals game, which was previously held by Ray Allen, and his 17 attempts broke a record previously held by himself. He also had eight assists and seven rebounds. Steph's incredible game overshadowed an outstanding all-around effort from Kevin Durant. He had 26 points on 10/14 shooting, with nine rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks. Klay Thompson had 20 points on 8/13 shooting, and was incredible, especially given the fact that he was playing on a high-ankle sprain. JaVale McGee was outstanding in his return to the starting lineup, going 6/6 with 12 points. Shaun Livingston was great off the bench with 10 points on 5/5 shooting, and did an incredible job of filling in for Andre Iguodala. As a team, the Warriors finished the game shooting 57.3% (47/82) from the floor and 41.7 (15/36) from three.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 29 points on 10/20 shooting, dished out 13 assists, grabbed nine rebounds and had two steals. Kevin Love was excellent for the second-straight game. He had 22 points on 7/18 shooting with 10 rebounds. George Hill did everything he could to make the world forget about his missed free throw, and finished with 15 points on 5/11 shooting. No one else on the Cavs had a good game. Jeff Green had six points on 2/7 shooting, and JR Smith was atrocious with five points on 2/9 shooting. The Cavaliers finished the game shooting a combined 41.6% (37/89) from the floor and 33.3% (9/27) from three.

The Warriors played an incredible game, and fixed nearly everything that went wrong in Game One. They only turned the ball over 12 times, which was well below their season average. They weren’t outrebounded by the Cavaliers, as they were in Game One. Kevin Durant was incredible efficient, as he said he would be after game one. The Warriors offense looked like it was in rhythm, and running like a fine-tuned machine.

In the end though, the Warriors did what they were supposed to do. They held court at home, and have a tough challenge in front of them as they go to Cleveland, where the Cavaliers are 8-1 this postseason.

Game Three of the 2018 NBA Finals is on Wednesday, Jun 6, in Cleveland at 6 p.m. on ABC.