Nick Wright reacts to Steph Curry notching a Finals record 9 triples to defeat LeBron’s Cavs in Game 2

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Reflecting on LeBron's Cavs falling to the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals, Nick Wright breaks down Steph Curry's epic night from behind the arc where he scored a Finals record nine 3-pointers, noting their significance in always keeping the Warriors one step ahead of Cleveland throughout the game.

- I want to add to the defensive point, because the Warriors in game 2, they were trapping LeBron when they could. They were doubling him near half court at times, when they could. And the only quarter all game the Cavs actually won was the quarter the Warriors have won this whole postseason, the third quarter. Why was that the one fourth the Cavs won?

Because that was the one quarter when LeBron was trapped, when LeBron was doubled, and he found the open man repeatedly. Those guys were either hitting the shots LeBron created, or making the extra pass to an open three point shooter. The Cavs at hit 9 three pointers in this game. They hit 5 of them in that third quarter.

It's a smart game plan by the Warriors. LeBron still almost got 30, but they basically said, we're going to spend our entire defensive effort on containing you, and see if JR can hit shots. See if George Hill can hit shots, see if anyone other than Kevin Love can hit shots.

ANALYST: They didn't do that in game one?

- Game one they weren't doubling him near half court.


- They weren't trapping him. They were playing a more straight up. They let Kevin Durant guard him one on one, which is what Durant did in last year's Finals. They let Draymond have chances at him. And last yearh, of course, they had Iguodala. They didn't have that in game one. But no, they changed the way they guarded LeBron, which made LeBron more of a distributor.

He got the 13 assists. He could have had 20. Guys missed shots, and so it's-- smart. It's exactly what I would do if I were Golden State. I think it's smart. And then you have the fact that Steph erupted in the fourth quarter. Like everyone-- today's going to be the Steph day, and I understand that.

It was the fourth quarter going into the fourth quarter, he was 6 and 18 with 17 points. And then he beat the brakes off the Cavs in the fourth quarter. Period, point blank. He was unconscious in the fourth. And Dre mentioned the shot with the shot clock winding down, which is a backbreaker.

Oracle erupts. You feel like, oh my god, we had a great defensive possession. Here's the thing. Yeah, there's some luck involved. Man, I've watched Steph Curry warm up, I've watched Steph Curry practice. He practices those situations. He has the coach's roll balls out to him at odd angles, where he picks up and just tosses it up.

So yeah, that is a lucky shot. But it is less lucky for Steph than any other player in the league. Like, there's some luck involved in any of those. But he is-- he practices that.

- Yeah, it would have been lucky if the ball hit off the backboard at the top, right? Hit off the shot clock and went in. But if you look at Steph's motion, he has a natural-- that his natural shooting motion. Like, that's what he's going to do. Great shooters, they make things happen.

So to me, doesn't have much to do with luck.

NICK WRIGHT: Maybe luck is the wrong word.

- I'm going to change that from your vocabulary.

ANALYST: OK, fair--

- Because the higher level we talk about, less luck has to do with it.

- My point is, any shot you make at the end of the shack clock that's not what the offense wanted, that wasn't their plan going into that possession. But as far as--

ANALYST: If he had made the one left handed, the one that gave him the ball, or he tried to get a lean in and the foul--

- And just said Warriors ball. But the point, I was trying to give him credit there. Like, that is-- there is less luck involved in Steph making that shot than any other player in the league, because he practices those shots. Because he is able to keep with his shooting form.

And we saw once again, Jenna, there are two sounds Oracle makes. A regular Warriors run, and a Steph Curry Warriors run. They love this guy. And he elevates that crowd and his team to a level unlike any of his teammates.

ANALYST: Did it feel like the Warriors were a little more balanced in this game than in the last couple of games they saw, where they needed a break out quarter to even get back in, or to take this game? Did it feel like, or did they not get what the Cavs probably wanted to put out there? Obviously, they struggled defensively.

- Well the Warriors knew exactly what they wanted to do. They knew that they were going to slip on the pick and roll offensively. They knew they were going to slip the pick and roll, and try to get as many buckets at the hoop early. That's what they were able to do. Kevin Durant said before the game, he took some bad shots in game number one, said he's going to be more selective.

And you saw that with him. Klay was typically doing what Klay did. When they needed a bucket, he went on a couple little runs there to give him a little boost. Before Steph got hot, because if people aren't careful, you will think that man, Steph was like LeBron in game number one. He wasn't.

He got a good fourth quarter. And his shooting percentage still was not a very good one. But when you have the 9 threes in the game, I would say Steve Kerr, and what they wanted to get off offensively, they were able to get that type of looks that they wanted. And early in the game, it was so easy for them that all they needed was one of these players to catch fire. And that's what happened in the fourth with Steph.

- And it was odd, because the Cavs win that third quarter. They go into the fourth only down seven, after being down double digits at the half. And it never felt to me like the Cavs were ever in this basketball game. Like, right? I don't know if it felt like that to you. It felt to me like the Cavs were-- and I should say, they went in the fourth quarter down double digits.

They got it down to seven in the fourth quarter. It never-- it felt to me like the Warriors were in firm control the entire game. And the person who put them in control was Kevin Durant. Durant was extraordinary through three quarters. He was doing exactly what Golden State's asked him to do. High efficiency shots. He shot 70% from the game. Rebound and assists.

Remember those three games against Houston where he had a combined 1 assist? He had 7 last night. Durant was excellent quarters one through three, and then Steph was absolutely transcendent in the fourth. That's how you get the blowout victory.