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2015 NBA Finals -- James scores triple-double, Cavs knot series at 1-1 after another OT thriller


PhilBoxing.com




OAKLAND -- In front of a sellout crowd at Oracle Arena on Sunday night (Monday morning Manila time) the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled out a stunning overtime victory against the heavily favored Golden State Warriors, 95-93.

With much of the pregame talk focused on the impact of Cleveland All-Star guard Kyrie Irving's absence, how would each team respond?

Many had written Cleveland off, that without Irving, the series would be a lock for Golden State. But for the two days in between Games 1 and 2, the talk was all about keeping out the noise. The Warriors maintained that they would need to remain locked in. And the Cavaliers felt they still had a chance.

More than a chance, they have the greatest player on the planet.

LeBron James executed a herculean performance, notching a triple double in 50 of the 53 game minutes. He had 39 points, 11 assists, and 16 rebounds. Once again, the King seemed to will his team to victory.

The Warriors played much like they did in the first quarter of Game 1, flat and unable to move the ball as they usually do. Except this time, even with the Dub Nation behind them, they were unable to get out of their funk. Reigning MVP Stephen Curry shot an uncharacteristic 2 of 15 from 3 point range and the Warriors missed their floor general badly. Curry finished with 19 points and only 5 assists.

The Cavs led 47-45 at the half and extended their lead in the fourth quarter by as many as 11 with 3:13 left in the game.

Then, when all seemed lost and behind a few late game heroics from Curry and some big plays from his supporting cast, the Warriors managed to take the game into overtime. This marked the first time in Finals history that the first two games of the series went into overtime.

The Warriors were unable to capitalize during the overtime period and the Cavaliers ultimately prevailed. Overall, both teams shot poorly, neither making even 40% of their shots. Center Timofey Mozgov scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Cleveland. Guard Klay Thompson was the lone bright spot for Golden State, scoring 34 points on 14 of 28 shooting and keeping his team in the game.

Of James' performance Cleveland head coach David Blatt said, "You'd be hard pressed to find a guy anywhere, anytime? that can give you the kind of all-around performance and all-around leadership that LeBron does for his group?. He really willed his guys to win that game. That's what a champion does, and obviously he's a champion."

The series now stands at 1-1 and moves to Cleveland for the next two games. The teams match up again on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

Photo: Matthew Dellavedova (center) played tight defense on Warriors star Steph Curry late to help the Cleveland Cavaliers win Game 2 and knot the NBA Finals at 1-1.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Adeline Deladisma.


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