Cleveland Cavaliers
Improvement goal for Warriors, Cavs in Game 2 (Jun 04, 2017)
Cleveland Cavaliers

Improvement goal for Warriors, Cavs in Game 2 (Jun 04, 2017)

Published Jun. 3, 2017 9:33 p.m. ET

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Two teams that believe they can improve on their opening performance hook up against Sunday in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

The Golden State Warriors are hoping for better shooting while the Cleveland Cavaliers are seeking sharper play pretty much across the board in the wake of Golden State's 113-91 triumph in Game 1 on Thursday.

The loser of Game 1 has gone on to win four of the last six championships, including last season, when the Cavaliers were beaten 104-89 in Oakland before rebounding to win the best-of-seven series in Game 7.

The Cavaliers got off once again on the wrong foot in the Finals due in large part to 20 turnovers and allowing the Warriors to pull down 14 offensive rebounds.


Golden State converted the turnovers and offensive rebounds into 39 points, allowing the Warriors to pull away despite shooting just 42.5 percent.

"It's great to get the first game up underneath us," Cavaliers star LeBron James insisted. "We made a lot of mistakes; they capitalized."

The Warriors left the arena believing the margin of victory could have been greater. They led 60-52 at halftime despite Cleveland committing 12 turnovers and allowing Golden State 11 offensive rebounds.

But the Warriors made only three of their 13 3-point attempts in the half. That changed dramatically -- and so did the margin of the Golden State lead -- when the Warriors had a pair of 3-pointers apiece in 13-0 and 13-1 third-quarter flurries that buried the Cavaliers.

"We feel like we can play much better, especially offensively," Curry said. "There were open opportunities."

James (28 points, 15 rebounds), Kevin Love (15 points, 21 rebounds) and Kyrie Irving (24 points) put up big numbers for Cleveland in the opener. But the rest of the team offered very little, combining for 7-for-31 shooting, 24 points and 20 rebounds.

Starting center Tristan Thompson managed just four rebounds in 22 minutes while Kyle Korver missed all three of his 3-point attempts and was scoreless off the bench in 23 minutes.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue noted afterward it's been a while since his team had seen the Warriors, and that experience is bound to help.

It did in the 2015 Finals, when the Cavaliers stole Game 2 after a loss in Game 1.

"Just getting a chance to see how they play, the style of play, how fast they play, you can't really simulate that in practices," Lue said. "You got to really get out here and get a chance to do it firsthand. When we experience that, we're able to adjust, we're a lot better."

Of course, Golden State didn't have Kevin Durant in either of their previous two Finals showdowns vs. Cleveland.

Durant matched his postseason career high with 38 points in Game 1 to go with eight rebounds and eight assists, becoming the first player to post a 38-8-8 or better since Kobe Bryant went 40-8-8 in the 2009 Finals against Orlando.

"I know (Durant's) ready for that challenge," Curry said of the matchup with James, the reigning Finals MVP. "When he has the ball, he's looking to do what he does his whole career, all this year in the playoffs, just being himself."


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