OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) — In Sunday’s game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals, the Warriors slowly disarmed the Cavaliers, finishing them off 132-113, thanks to a NBA Finals record 18 three-pointers. Steve Kerr set the tempo for the Warriors, after missing eleven postseason games with an illness, ensuring the offensive sets would create more open looks for mad bombers Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.
The Cavaliers took the lead early in the game, but it fell out of their grasp halfway through the period and they were never to regain it. The Cavs did pull within 3, 67-64, at halftime. But the Warriors claimed the third quarter for themselves. In the end, the Warriors balanced attack was too much and the 2015 NBA Champions now have a 2-0 series advantage in this best of 7 game battle against the defending champs.
Steve Kerr returns
Steve Kerr returned to the bench after missing eleven games, with a warm welcome from the Oracle crowd. Kerr requested Curry, “to play with passion and play with joy.” Curry said, “We love his presence. We love his voice. And we’re a full group when he’s out here, so that means a lot.” LeBron James also paid respect to Steve Kerr, welcoming him back before the game began. Kerr has been dealing with back problems for 2 years, but has persevered through it. The reigning NBA Coach of the Year said he plans to coach for the rest of the finals, though his future is uncertain.
There was more history made on Sunday night. LeBron James tied Magic Johnson for most triple-doubles in the finals with 8. He is also only a few points behind to getting sixth place on the all-time NBA Finals scoring list. James had never had more assists in a half during a postseason game than on Sunday, with 10 assists, also becoming the first person in 20 years to have double-digit assists in a first half of a playoff game.
The Warriors made history, becoming 14-0 in the postseason, the longest postseason winning streak in the history of the NBA. Curry had his first career postseason triple-double. Kevin Durant had 3 steals and 3 blocks in the 1st half, the highest the first half of a postseason game since Shawn Marion in 2006. Golden State had their first Finals game where they scored at least 40 points in 50 years, the last one being in 1967 in game 6 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Klay Thompson has played in 78 postseason games now, the highest in franchise history.
“I thought for the most part with the game plan that we had we tried to execute it as close as possible. Much more physical today than we were in Game 1. And we forced them to 20 turnovers and they still beat us pretty good, so we’ve got to be much better, too.” said LeBron James, after the game. The Cavaliers played much better during game 2, forcing the Warriors to twenty turnovers (Curry with 8). Yet, they could not pull the win off, losing their lead about halfway through the first quarter. Defense is the difference. Cleveland had a much better offense than last game, with 113 points, but still lost because they had no answers to stop the Warriors. Still, as James said, the Cavaliers were more aggressive during Game 2 than Game 1 and you can expect more of the same in Game 3.
The Warriors now need to cut down on turnovers. Klay Thompson, who broke out of his slump with 22 points and four 3-pointers, will need to keep up that level of production as the series moves to a hostile Cleveland environment. Curry and Durant have been nothing short of outstanding, combining 65 points, 24 rebounds, and 17 assists in Game 2.
Kerr says with the Warriors loss in the 2016 NBA Finals after being up 3 games to one, they have their series lead in perspective.
India Rising puts forth valiant effort in loss to Boeheim’s Army in TBT
SYRACUSE (Diya TV) — With The Basketball Tournament commencing, most eyes have been set on Boeheim’s Army and their path to repeating as champions. However, their first match provided an opponent true to its name: India Rising.
While one may look at the 90-62 score and disregard the India Rising squad, when watching the game, the team did truly give Boeheim’s Army a run for their money in the first half. Facing a team full of guys who played under one of the greatest basketball coaches ever, Jim Boeheim, India Rising jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and was able to keep pace with Boeheim’s Army for a substantial amount of time. Most people may have written them off early but they kept fighting. They had a clear cut goal to bring attention to basketball players of Indian descent by pulling off a cinderella win and carve a path for themselves. It is clear that they put in their full effort to try and realize those goals.
In the second half, Boeheim’s army was able to pull away but India Rising had made their message clear: Indian ballers should not be overlooked. The box score does not paint the real picture of how much heart, determination, and grit India Rising displayed to get more recognition. General manager Gautam Kapur and head coach Ajay Sharma have done an excellent job overseeing the initiative and giving the best Indian hoopers a chance to shine on a big stage.
In a 64 team tournament, India Rising stood out and gave a near-professional squad a tough time. For what this team set out to achieve, no heads should be hung low. India Rising should be getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve.
Warriors win Game 5 at home, now just one game away from the title
SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —The Golden State Warriors are just one win away from their fourth title in eight years. The Dubs returned home and overpowered the Boston Celtics 104-94 to take a 3-2 series lead, even though Stephen Curry only scored 16. Infact, Curry did not make a single three, a first in the last 3.5 years. Andrew Wiggins on the other hand matched Tatum while scoring a team-high 26 points and added 13 rebounds, including the dagger dunk to finish off Boston.
Draymond Green saw glimpses of a turnaround game as he was very close to a triple double before fouling out for the 3rd time in this series. Klay Thompson made a great contribution on the offensive end with 21 points, on the third anniversary of his horrific injury in the finals against the Cavaliers in 2019 . The Warriors trio of Curry, Thompson and Green were able to cement themselves even further with their 20th Finals win together, the most of any trio over the past 30 years.
The Celtics saw franchise star Jayson Tatum have a better game scoring wise than the last game with a team-high 27 points. But while Tatum showed up for game 5, Jaylen Brown did not. When both of those players are on at the same time, the Celtics can light it up. However, there has been inconsistency from both throughout the Finals. The C’s will need both guys to be on for them to fend off the Dubs and force a Game 7.
The Warriors can close out the series and add a 7th ring to their collection with a win on Thursday in the hostile environment of TD Garden. A collective team effort would do the trick as in Game 4, Curry shouldered the load while the rest of his supporting cast did the same for him. The Celtics will look to put forth their best effort of the season in a final effort to keep their season alive. It could very well come down to if both Tatum and Brown can prove they can be a dynamic duo on the biggest stage.
Warriors seal Game 4 victory with an epic Steph Curry performance, tie series 2-2
BOSTON (Diya TV) — The Warriors, seal Game 4 victory with a vintage Stephen Curry performance, evened up the NBA Finals in an absolute thriller, winning 107-97.
The start of the game saw both teams match each other pound for pound with Boston ultimately taking the first quarter by a single point. There were notions before the game about Curry having a foot sprain, but he quickly laid those doubts to rest. He began to heat up in the first quarter (and talked some trash along the way). Conversely, Draymond Green continued his finals performance with more fouls than points. Robert Williams III showed off his skills as a rim protector on defense, which was a missing piece for the Celtics up until the point of Williams’ return. In the first half, Curry and Jayson Tatum battled against each other in classic star matchup fashion with Curry scoring 19 and Tatum going for 16. Tatum was money from beyond the arc (made 3 out of his 4 three-point attempts), just like he’s been all Finals as he’s been shooting 48% on 3’s.
The officiating in the first half was questionable, especially in the second quarter when Payton Pritchard clearly traveled and yet a foul was called instead. This set off Warriors HC Steve Kerr and his temper led to him getting a technical foul. For a non-call to be that egregious and then to double down by giving Kerr the technical foul is asinine and something that certainly sparked controversy. Attention was also brought to the Celtics free throw attempts versus the Warriors (15 and 5 respectively) even with both teams attacking the basket often. Despite this disparity, the Warriors were able to keep it within 5 at the end of the half.
More Curry magic continued in the second half with him carrying the team on his back, in essence. 43 points highlight the stat line but when watching the game, it was clear as day that he was really the only dependable source of scoring throughout the ballgame for the Dubs. With 7 threes made tonight, we saw the greatest shooter in league history go to work and will his team to victory. In the biggest stage of basketball, Curry made his mark once again.
The Celtics now face a daunting Game 5 heading to San Francisco. Winning both games on their home court would have all but sealed a championship for them. But now, the door has not only creaked, but swung wide open. The #1 defense in the NBA will gameplan to try and find answers for Curry. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be facing a challenging environment in Chase Center, but one they are familiar with.
Meanwhile, the Warriors will look to capitalize off the momentum and adrenaline this win has given them. Off the heels of a classic performance, Curry will try to carry on his titanium-strong Finals MVP case. Draymond Green, coming back to friendly faces in San Francisco, will try to turn around an awful stretch. This series is shaping up to be a dramatic one with both teams trading blows. Game 5 should deliver more popcorn-worthy entertainment, especially if Stephen Curry is involved.
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