CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James continues to match and set records during the 2017 NBA Playoffs, but with his team down, 2-0, to the Golden State Warriors in The Finals, there is not much time for recognition or celebration.
Despite James matching Los Angeles Lakers great Earvin “Magic” Johnson for the most triple-doubles in NBA Finals history (eight), the Warriors set a new league record with their 14th straight postseason victory, a 132-113 decision in front of a raucous capacity crowd of 19,596 fans at Oracle Arena in Oakland Sunday night.
“Right now, it means nothing,” James said. “But it will mean something. He’s one of the greatest to play this game. Right now, individuality means absolutely nothing when it comes to this team sport, but when I’m done, I’ll probably look back on it and say it was a cool feat.”
In Game 2, small forward Kevin Durant (33 points, 13 rebounds) and point guard Stephen Curry (32, 10, 11 assists) led the way for Golden State. Shooting guard Klay Thompson tallied 22 points and despite foul trouble for the entire game, power forward Draymond Green added 12 points, nine of which came on three three-pointers, to go along with six rebounds, six assists and one steal.
The Cavaliers got 29 points, 11 rebounds, 14 assists, three steals and one blocked shot from James, as well as 27 and 19 points from power forward Kevin Love and point guard Kyrie Irving, respectively.
“It got a little out of control towards the end, but we’re not worried about that,” James said of Game 2. “We made runs, we cut it to four at one point, and then, they went on a quick 9-0 run or 12-0 run. That’s what they do. That’s what Golden State does. If you make a mistake – like I said, we had a turnover, it came from me, and then, we had a miscue and the floods opened again.
“We’re going to go home and watch the film to see ways we can be better. Do things -- I don’t want to say differently because you work so hard to get to this point -- but make a couple of changes to see if we can be a lot better defensively and offensively.
“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 than we were in Game 1, and we forced them into 20 turnovers and they still beat us pretty good, so we’ve got to be much better too.”
For the second straight year, the Cavaliers returned to Quicken Loans Arena in an 0-2 hole against the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
The Warriors have not lost in the postseason since their three straight setbacks against the Cavaliers in Games 5-7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
“I’m not a past guy too much,” James said. “I’m more of a present guy, so we’ve just got to figure out how we can be better in Game 3.”