By Griffin Finch
Game two started pretty much just how it was expected to go. After the first few minutes where both teams felt each other out the Warriors claimed a small lead and held on to it. Through the first half they were never able to get anything more than the type of lead that you know is not safe if the opposition goes on any kind of run. Every time the Cavaliers would make a move to close the gap, Golden State would respond and get their lead back up to about 8 points. This continued for the entirety of the first two quarters and as the half concluded the Warriors had built one of their larger leads of the night thus far; 13 points. The first half closed with Golden State leading 59-46.
Once again the Warriors had a brilliant third quarter scoring 31 points. Amazingly, Cleveland was able keep up with the Warriors and even cut the lead from 13 to 10 points by the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter however was Stephen Curry’s time to shine. Curry took five three pointers and made all of them. Behind Curry’s 16 in the final period, the defending champions were able to balloon their lead to 19 points finishing the game with a final score of 122-103.
Overall this game was relatively predictable. LeBron and Kevin Love performed well finishing with 29 and 22 respectively. Tristan Thompson had eleven and George Hill had 15 points. Most of Hill’s points came in the first half though so as we have come to expect the roll players were a virtual non factor especially down the stretch when the fate of the game was at hand. Not that anyone could of stopped Curry in the fourth. The game was his as soon as he caught fire. For Golden State, Kevin Durant had 26 and Klay Thompson had 20. Even Javale McGee had a good game with 12 points. But this was Stephen Curry’s night. As I’ve alluded to, he was incredible to see. He finished with 33 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. The story of this game for me is the collective performance of each team. An easy way to look at this is to analyze the plus/minus stat for each player. For those who are unfamiliar with how plus/minus works it determines how well a particular player plays per 100 possessions compared to the league average. The league average is set at 0.0 so the higher the number the better the performance and vice versa. The only players to have a positive plus/minus on the Cavaliers were Jose Calderon and Ante Zizic who both only played 3 minutes in garbage time. On the other hand the only players to have a negative plus minus for the Warriors were Quinn Cook, Patrick McCaw and Zaza Pachulia. All of whom also only played 3 minutes in garage time. If the Cavaliers want a chance in this series they all need to start playing like they are in the NBA Finals. Otherwise the Warriors are going to coast to another NBA championship.